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Willmar man faces assault charges for allegedly beating a man with gun stock

WILLMAR -- Nicholas Austin Sorenson, 21, of Willmar, made his first court appearance Tuesday on a felony second-degree assault charge for allegedly beating a man over the head with a gun stock early Sunday morning.

Unconditional bail was set at $90,000 with conditional bail allowed for $1,000 cash only. Sorenson makes his next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court on Sept. 13.

He also faces a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault.

According to the complaint, Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputies were called around 6 a.m. Sunday to an Atwater address regarding an altercation between two groups of people at a party.

Four people met the officers, with one man bleeding from a cut on his temple and with numerous scraps and scratches on his face and arms. Another man had red marks and bruises on his torso.

They reported that two juvenile females had been at a party and that one of them had called someone to come and pick her up from the location. They said a Chevy Astro van arrived, with several people getting out of the vehicle. The biggest guy, later identified as Sorenson, then beat the man over the head with his fists and an item that looked like a gun stock from a long gun.

The people also reported they had heard Sorenson threaten to return to the vehicle and get a gun.

Other deputies located the van along County Road 23 and stopped it. The juvenile female denied that there was an assault. Sorenson had blood on his shirt and mouth and a contusion on his eye, but claimed his girlfriend had beaten him up. He did not cooperate with deputies and denied knowing anything about a fight.

A search of the van revealed a rifle pellet gun in two pieces, with the barrel and stock apart and consistent with what the first group of people had told deputies.

Sorenson was taken back to Atwater, where all four people recognized him as the person who was the alleged aggressor in the incident.

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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