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Man pleads to riot charge for August assault incident

WILLMAR -- Emilio Ozornia, 24, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Thursday to an amended charge of gross misdemeanor third-degree riot for his role in assaulting and threatening a group of men with a knife and garden hoe.

As part of a plea agreement entered in Kandiyohi County District Court, three addition felony charges of assault and terroristic threats and a misdemeanor for property damage will be dismissed. Ozornia will be sentenced Feb. 9.

Ozornia and his brother, Erik Ozornia, 21, were both charged in the Aug. 21 incident. Erik pleaded guilty to the same charge as Emilio and was sentenced Nov. 17 to 365 days in jail, with 342 days stayed, a $1,000 fine and two years of probation.

The charges were filed after three Willmar police officers and a Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputy were dispatched around 7:20 p.m. Aug. 21 to the 600 block of Second Street Southwest on a fight call.

A man there said his brother had been assaulted, had a knife pulled on him and had been struck with a garden hoe.

The men had gone to a home along the 200 block of August Avenue looking for a young child. They said they were attacked there by the Ozornia brothers, who threatened them and threw a jack against their truck as they drove away.

Another witness told officers that the fight started at the Second Street home when the brothers came over and punched the man with their fists.

The man who was assaulted told officers Erik had come over, confronted and threatened him and then swung the hoe at him. He said Emilio pulled out a black knife, and when he was focused on the knife, Erik hit him with the hoe.

Officers went to the Ozornia home, where Erik was arrested. Early the next morning, an officer came upon a parked vehicle with an open door observed a man who appeared to be passed out inside.

The officer recognized Emilio and he was arrested. A knife, with a 3½-inch blade, was found on his person.