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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.

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