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A 30-year-old man is in critical condition after being beaten Thursday in Winnipeg, police say, adding three men have been arrested and charged in the case.

It happened in the 600 block of Main Street, near the Manwin Hotel, at about 8 p.m.

CBC News spoke to a friend of the victim Friday.

Bruce McDonald, 37, says the attack happened shortly after he and his friend bought beer at the hotel.

"I'm lucky that I'm not in the hospital myself," McDonald said, describing the viscious nature of the assault. "The back of my head got punched three times."

McDonald said the attackers ran at them and were yelling loudly.

He said his friend was stomped on when he was down on the ground.

"Over what? Eight beers," he noted. "Are you kidding me?"

Police said the injured man tried to run away from the scene but was chased down and knocked to the ground.

The three attackers fled, police said.

The injured man was taken to hospital in critical condition.

Police said they were able to track down the suspects in the area a short time later.

They have been charged with aggravated assault and robbery with violence. One of them was also charged with three counts of breaching his probation.