2nd suspect charged in Mankato assault, denies throwing punch


A St. Peter, Minnesota, man has been charged in an assault in Mankato over the weekend that left a former Minnesota State University, Mankato football player fighting for his life.

Former University of Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson was arrested at the scene of the assault early Sunday morning. On Monday, he was charged with first- and third-degree assault and released on $20,000 bond.

On Monday evening, hours after police released surveillance video of a second suspect they were looking for in the assault, they arrested 21-year-old Trevor Shelley, according to the city of Mankato's website.

He faces the same charges as Nelson.

A criminal complaint says that in the early hours of May 11, Shelley punched Isaac Kolstad, 24, knocking him to the ground, and then Nelson kicked him in the head, WCCO reports.

The Pioneer Press is reporting that Shelley has denied ever punching Kolstad, even after investigators told him the assault was captured on surveillance video.

A criminal complaint says Nelson had reportedly been angry after a bar bouncer had flirted with his girlfriend that evening and his anger got worse when he saw Kolstad, perhaps thinking he was the bouncer, Nelson had told authorities, according to the Pioneer Press.

Nelson and Shelley attended high school a year apart in Mankato, but an attorney told the Pioneer Press that they didn't know each other. Investigators who were looking for Shelley said the two are friends on Facebook, KARE 11 notes.

Kolstad, who is also from Mankato, was listed in critical condition on Wednesday. He's undergone surgeries on his brain, according to posts on his CaringBridge page. He is married and has a daughter and his wife is pregnant.

Since the charges surfaced, Nelson, who in January announced he was transferring to Rutgers University after playing two seasons with the Gophers, has been dismissed Nelson from the Rutgers football team.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Brooklyn Park shooting leaves 2 injured

Two victims sustained non-life threatening injuries during the Monday evening incident.

Screen Shot 2019-10-14 at 10.38.01 PM

Worthington settles police brutality lawsuit for $590,000, agrees to reforms

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Kelvin Francisco Rodriguez, who spent five days in the ICU after being arrested.

Michael Munoz

Rochester superintendent admits he plagiarized letter to staff

Med City Beat broke the story, prompting the superintendent to apologize.

police tape, crime scene

Man and woman, aged 55 and 62, found dead in their home

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

Gov. Tim Walz

Walz: COVID-19 guidance for Christmas likely to be similar to Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving featured a ban on social gatherings with non-household members.


Mall of America is offering a virtual Santa experience this year

People can virtually tour Santa's Candy Cane Institute.

PD Shimmers 4

Annual guide to finding holiday lights displays in MN is released

More than 80 holiday displays are on this year's list.

duluth police department

Duluth police officer charged in September shooting

The officer, who is a five-year veteran, is charged with two felonies.

Screen Shot 2020-11-30 at 1.31.42 PM

Enbridge gets final approval to start construction on Line 3 replacement

The project has attracted criticism from environmental and tribal groups.