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20-year-old man faces assault charges

WILLMAR — A 20-year-old Willmar man made his first court appearance Wednesday on two felony charges of second-degree assault and domestic assault by strangulation for allegedly beating a woman with a length of pipe and kicking her in the chest in May.

Unconditional bail was set at $100,000 for Omar Rodriguez, who also faces three misdemeanor charges of domestic assault. His next appearance is Dec. 23 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

According to the complaint, a woman reported to Willmar police on May 17 that she and Rodriguez and others had gone out dancing at the Caribbean Club and then went to a house in the city. She said that Rodriguez got upset with her while they were driving to the house and punched her in the face. He then hit her in the forearm with an 18-inch long piece of pipe. She said he had also kicked her in the chest and that she had difficulty breathing. Two children had been present for some portion of the alleged assault.

The woman had visible injuries to her arm and knee and told officers that Rodriguez had beaten her twice in the past month, including hitting her in the head and pushing on her chest with his elbow so hard that she had difficulty breathing and was in pain.

The woman had photos of the previous injuries on her cell phone and showed the images to the officer. Officers found the length of pipe in the yard of the home.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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