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Racine police say a 46-year-old man is charged with felony battery after a fight with another man who ended up with a broken neck.

Darnell Barker was charged Friday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of substantial battery. If convicted, he faces up to 3-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called 4:54 p.m. Thursday to a home in the 1800 block of Roe Avenue for a report of a man down. When officers arrived, they found a man lying on the ground with rescue already on scene and another man – later identified as Barker – sitting on the porch.

Police say Barker told them the man attacked him, and he defended himself. The man on the ground said that he and Barker are friends and had been drinking together. They got into an argument that escalated, and Barker started punching the man who then fell over the porch railing to the ground below, a distance of approximately seven feet.

There were no visible injuries to either Barker or the man, but police noted the man complained of back pain, the complaint reads. The man was transported to Wheaton Franciscan St. Mary’s for treatment of any possible injuries. Barker was also wearing an ankle boot on his right leg. He was taken into custody for simple assault and refused to give a statement to police.

Officers say they booked Barker into the Racine County Jail before going to the emergency room at Wheaton Franciscan St. Mary’s to check on the man. Doctors there told police the man had several broken vertebrae in his neck and they were calling Flight for Life to transport him to Froedtert Hospital. Officers responded back to RCJ to amend Barker’s charges to substantial battery.

Barker was assigned a $1,000 cash bond Friday during his initial appearance, and online jail records Saturday did not indicate he was still in custody. Because he was charged with a felony Barker was order to submit a DNA sample, not to possess or consume any alcohol and to provide urine tests randomly and after each court appearance. Barker is next due in court Sept. 9 for his preliminary hearing.

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