MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A 27-year-old Missoula man has pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon after police said he attacked a Special Olympics athlete with a baseball bat, causing a severe head injury.

Paul Ekstedt entered his plea Thursday.

Prosecutors are recommending a 20-year sentence with eight suspended, for a sentence of 12 years. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 20.

Prosecutors say a witness told police that she, Ekstedt and the 37-year-old victim were on their way to dinner on June 14 when Ekstedt struck the victim in the head, knocking him to the floor.

The victim underwent emergency surgery and his father said he was on a ventilator for a time.

Witnesses said there had been no argument but that Ekstedt had been acting strangely for the previous 10 days.