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Two Granite Falls men sentenced to prison time for their roles in barroom altercation in Wood Lake

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WOOD LAKE -- Two men received prison sentences for their roles in a barroom brawl sparked when a bartender cut off liquor sales to a 24-year-old patron, and she tossed a drink and glass in the bartender's face.

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According to the Yellow Medicine County Attorney's Office, Rico Vincent Layton Uribe, 34, of Granite Falls will serve 24 months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of felony third-degree assault.

He was sentenced July 14 in district court in Granite Falls.

Joseph Edward Tipton, 28, of Granite Falls will serve 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of third-degree assault and another count of second-degree assault, both felonies.

He was sentenced July 23 in district court in Granite Falls.

Both men were charged with injuring patrons at Woody's Bar in Wood Lake on Feb. 16 when they punched, kicked and struck the victims with bar stools during a melee, recorded by four surveillance cameras.

The complaint against Uribe alleges he broke one victim's eye socket -- necessitating surgery -- after punching, kicking and using a barstool to strike the man's head when he was on the floor.

The complaint also charges that he slammed another man into a table, punched the back of his head and struck him over the head with a barstool, knocking him unconscious.

The complaint against Tipton alleges that he broke one man's nose, chipped his teeth and tore open his lip when he punched, kicked and struck the man with a barstool while the victim was on the floor. It also alleges that he gave another man a concussion by punching him in the face, fractured the orbital floor or extended wing of another man's spinal vertebrae by tossing a barstool into his back, and gave a third man a concussion by hitting him on the head with the legs of a barstool.

The complaint alleges that the melee occurred just minutes before midnight after a female bartender took a drink from the female patron. The patron responded by tossing a drink and glass at the bartender. A man who had been playing cards at a table confronted the female patron and appeared to be arguing with her when Tipton allegedly came over and struck the man.

Tipton and Uribe began striking others, according to information in the criminal complaint, and the melee ensued.

The entire event spanned three minutes and 38 seconds, according to surveillance tapes. The tape shows the two defendants and female patron who had her drink taken away leaving the facility on foot.

Law officers responding to the incident found paramedics tending to the injured and were unsuccessful in locating the defendants that night.

Both men were ordered to pay fines and fees and restitution yet to be determined.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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