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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man has been sentenced to 2-years in prison for beating up a man in a downtown Rochester alley last year.

42-year-old Ernest Pitchford earlier entered a guilty plea to a third-degree assault charge in the case. He was charged in July of last year after Rochester police investigated a man's report that he had been assaulted by three men in the alley behind the 300 block of South Broadway in the early morning of May 30, 2021.

The victim in the case told police he was alone in the alley when Pitchford approached him and said he "owed him favors." The victim stated he told Pitchford he didn't owe him anything and was then attacked by Pitchford and two other men. The injured man was transported to St. Mary's hospital following the assault and was treated for facial fractures and other injuries.

surveillance video
(Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
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The criminal complaint says investigators were able to obtain a surveillance camera video that captured a portion of the assault and supported the victim's version of the events that took place in the alley. It shows the victim being punched in the face and then pulled to the ground where he was punched and kicked by his assailants. He was not able to identify the two other men involved in the assault.

Court records show Pitchford has a history of convictions for criminal offenses dating back 15 years. He has had several felony drug convictions, including one in 2016 that resulted in a 39-month prison sentence.

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