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Willmar man gets prison time for his role in assault last year

WILLMAR -- Francisco R. Vallejo, 38, of Willmar, was sentenced Thursday to 21 months in prison on a felony charge of third-degree assault for his role in the beating of a man June 29 at a rural Willmar residence.

He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine and $159 in restitution, jointly with his co-defendants.

Vallejo is one of three men charged in the incident. Lazario Domingo Diaz, 30, of Willmar, was sentenced to 15 months in prison on a third-degree assault charge. Luis Salazar, 23, of Willmar, pleaded guilty to a third-degree assault charge and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, a $1,500 fine and five years of probation on a third-degree assault charge.

The charges were filed after Kandiyohi County sheriff's de-puties were called ar-ound 1:20 a.m. June 29 to a home northwest of Willmar.

A man, who was bl-eeding he-avily from his face, said he had been assaulted by several men at a home across the street. The man said he managed to get away and asked a neighbor to call for help.

The man said that he received a ride to the rural residence earlier in the evening from Vallejo. He said Vallejo and a man identified as "Chattle" had beaten him. Chattle is a known nickname for Diaz.

A deputy questioned Vallejo, who had blood on his hand. He claimed the blood was from a mosquito bite and denied anything about a fight or even knowing the alleged victim.

While deputies were questioning Salazar, they heard rustling in a nearby brush line. The man claimed it was coyotes. Then a man, identified as Diaz, got up from the brush and ran away.

He was caught by an officer, handcuffed and told to sit down on a step. He again attempted to run away. The officer later secured Diaz in his squad car.

The victim was interviewed at the hospital and said that he had known Vallejo for about 25 years and that they had drank beers around a bonfire.

He was leaving when Salazar, Diaz and Vallejo hit him, knocked him to the ground and punched and kicked him.

The victim's lip was cut and he required stitches to close the wound and he sustained multiple rib fractures. The man identified all three of his assailants in photo lineups.

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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