Mankato assault: 2nd suspect arrested; Rutgers dismisses QB Nelson


Rutgers University has released former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson, after he was charged in an assault in Mankato that left a former football player in critical condition.

Meanwhile, a second suspect police had been seeking has been arrested.

Rutgers football coach Kyle Flood announced on Tuesday that Nelson has been dismissed from the team, the Star-Ledger (New Jersey) reported.

Nelson was arrested Sunday in connection with an incident with former Minnesota State-Mankato linebacker Isaac Kolstad, who remained in critical condition Tuesday. A post to Kolstad's CaringBridge page notes that he had surgery Tuesday morning and that it went well. A fundraising effort through the site YouCaring for Kolstad already has raised $13,000 of a $25,000 goal.

Kolstad is in a medically-induced coma, and the family "does not yet know the extent of his injuries and won't for some time, but we do know that the road ahead will be very tough," a family member wrote on the site. Kolstad and his wife, who is pregnant, have a young daughter.

Officials announced in a news conference Monday that Nelson, 20, had been charged in Blue Earth District Court with first- and third-degree assault. He was released on bail.

"The Rutgers football family's thoughts and prayers are with Isaac Kolstad and his family," Rutgers' Flood said in a statement.

A second man who had been wanted in connection with the attack was booked into the Blue Earth County jail Monday night, KTOE AM and the Star Tribune report. The 21-year-old St. Peter man was jailed pending charges of first- and third-degree assault, Mankato city officials said in a press release.

Police had been seeking the second suspect who was seen on surveillance video in the area of the assault.

Police are still looking for additional witnesses of the assault, as well as for people who know what the involved parties were doing during the hours before the incident.

In January, Nelson announced that he was transferring to Rutgers University after playing two seasons with the Gophers. 

Nelson started 16 games with Minnesota, throwing for 2,179 yards and 17 touchdowns, while rushing for 548 yards and another six touchdowns.

The Gophers declined to comment on the incident Monday and Rutgers had issued a statement saying it is in the process of gathering information about the incident, ESPN reported.

Both Kolstad and Nelson are from Mankato. Nelson played high school football at Mankato West, while Kolstad played at Mankato East, according to reports. It’s unclear if the two knew each other, the Star Tribune says.

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