A 33-year-old man is facing assault charges after he was accused of poking a St. Paul bar patron in the eye on New Year's Eve, leaving him blind in one eye.
Kinseth Sorlien was charged Thursday in Ramsey County with first-degree assault after being identified by several witnesses as the man who allegedly attacked a reveler at Governors Fine Food and Drink.
According to the charges, investigators learned the victim lost sight in his left eye, and the Pioneer Press reported that the man was injured so severely that tissue was leaking from his eye socket.
The newspaper reported that a group of witnesses near the bar flagged down police at about 1:30 p.m. to tell officers about the assault. A short time later, officers saw Sorlien walking with two women -- identified in the complaint as his girlfriend and mother.
The Star Tribune reports that Sorlien had yelled at his mother to leave the bar, but his mother walked up to the victim, hugged him and wished him a Happy New Year. Afterward, Sorlien allegedly slapped the victim in the back of the head, and the victim protested by saying it wasn't necessary.
According to reports, Sorlien apparently left but returned shortly thereafter, walked up to the victim and jabbed him in the eye with two fingers.
When Sorlien was arrested, he told police the poke was accidental and he left the bar without knowing the man had been injured. Sorlien remains in jail.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.