A man who attacked a bar patron in Barron in February 2019 can avoid an 18-month prison sentence if he abides by terms of probation imposed during an Oct. 23, 2019, sentencing hearing in county Circuit Court.

Justin Nickell, 29, 223 N. Third St., Barron, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of substantial battery, an offense punishable by up to three and one-half years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. The court stayed a sentence that could have included an 18-month prison term and, instead, put Nickell on probation for three years. He was ordered not to consume or possess alcohol or controlled substance, and to complete any evaluations, counseling, treatment and follow-up recommended by his probation agent. While on probation, he is eligible for substance abuse programming, court records added.

According to a complaint filed Feb. 4, 2019, Nickell was arrested after allegedly hitting a patron in the face with a beer bottle at Skippy’s Bar early on the morning of Feb. 2.

The victim tackled Nickell and held him on the ground until police arrived. A preliminary alcohol breath test produced a reading of .278, more than three times the state’s legal limit of intoxication.