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Man guilty of assault in Grand Forks bar fight

William “Willy” Gardner

A Grand Forks jury found William “Willy” Gardner guilty Wednesday of two felony counts, aggravated assault and terrorizing from a knock-down fight July 8 outside Charlie Brown’s Bar on Gateway Drive, where Gardner worked.

Gardner, 53, was charged with knocking a man down July 8 with a punch to his left eye, after the man told him to stop touching his motorcycle and Gardner said, “I’ve killed people for less.”

Both men swung twice and missed before Gardner connected, police said.

Gardner then straddled the man’s prone body in the parking lot, repeatedly punching him in the head and face, yelling “I will kill you,” until another bar employee pulled him off, according to investigators.

The victim was hospitalized with fractured bones around his eye.

Gardner lives near the bar and told the court he made about $400 month working there.

He’s got a long list of crimes going back two decades involving drugs, alcohol, and threatening people.

In 2007, Gardner was sentenced to two years in prison for terrorizing and in 2001 to six months in jail on similar charges, according to court records.

He’s slated to be sentenced May 21. Each count carries a maximum prison sentence of five year.