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Man gets 18 months for fight with police

A Fargo man who punched a police officer last month during a drunken rage was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison. Perry Ellsworth, 39, no permanent address, has a long history of mental disorders and was so drunk during his arrest that he ...

A Fargo man who punched a police officer last month during a drunken rage was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison.

Perry Ellsworth, 39, no permanent address, has a long history of mental disorders and was so drunk during his arrest that he can't remember most of the day, his attorney said.

"He had no memory," attorney Monty Mertz told Judge Frank Racek in Cass County District Court. "He started the day drinking at a friend's house and woke up at jail."

Court records say that on July 28, Fargo police went to the Mental Health Association Social Club, 1419 1st Ave. S., to help with a disruptive patron. Ellsworth had broken a mirror and was threatening another man.

When Ellsworth resisted arrested, officers used pepper spray, to no effect, and tried to subdue him with baton strikes to his legs. During the scuffle Ellsworth punched an officer in the temple and spit on another.

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In court Thursday, Mertz said Ellsworth has taken responsibility for the incident even though he doesn't remember it. Ellsworth, whose criminal history includes a 1998 conviction for assaulting a police officer, pleaded guilty to three felony counts, including terrorizing and simple assault on a police officer.

Assistant State's Attorney Lisa McEvers recommended a five-year sentence with two and a half years suspended, but Mertz told Racek probation would not work well for Ellsworth.

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