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Willmar man pleads to assault charge for beating man with belt

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WILLMAR -- Erick Antonio Caballero, 31, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a third-degree assault charge for beating a man with a belt and his fists in June.

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As part of a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court, the charge was elevated from a fifth-degree misdemeanor assault charge. A felony second-degree assault charge and three other misdemeanor charges will be dismissed. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 2.

The charges were filed after Willmar Police were called to a home along 11th Street Southeast around 2 a.m. June 7 on a report that people were fighting with knives.

A man there said Caballero chased him with a knife and had also assaulted several others at the residence.

Caballero ran away from officers, but was later located and arrested.

The man reported that Caballero had fought with another man and that he had attempted to separate them, but was hit in the head. He said Caballero came after both of them with a knife and that the other man had taken off his belt to protect himself. A woman said she saw the chase with the knife, saw the victim laying the grass and called the law. Another woman said Callabero had hit her and that she hid in the bathroom.

The second man, the man found laying the grass, was interviewed at the emergency room. He had chunks of flesh missing from his ear, a bite mark on his arm, other marks consistent with being assaulted and at least two marks on his arms that were made by the buckle end of a belt. Officers took a belt into evidence that matched the marks on man.

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