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Charges recommended in Mansel Simmons case

COUGARS

Pullman Police announced in a press release Wednesday that charges will be recommended against Idaho receiver Roman Runner and former Washington State receiver Mansel Simmons for their involvement in an altercation in the early hours of March 24.

PPD recommends a second-degree felony assault charge for Runner, 21, and a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for Simmons, 20. The Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney will decide whether charges will be filed.

Simmons announced in April that he is retiring from football due to head injuries sustained in the fight. He suffered a severe concussion and multiple facial fractures.

Here's the full release from Pullman Police:

PULLMAN – Pullman Police Detectives have concluded their investigation of an assault that occurred on March 24, 2013 at about 12:50 am at NE Ash St. and NE Maple St. in Pullman. Pullman officers had been dispatched to that location and found Mansel Simmons unconscious, the apparent victim of an assault. Simmons was initially transported to Pullman Regional Hospital and later to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane where he was treated for facial fractures and a concussion.

After speaking with more than a dozen witnesses, investigators concluded that a verbal argument between two groups of men attending a party in the 300 block of NE Ash St. escalated into a brief physical confrontation between Simmons and Roman Runner. Runner was with three other men visiting from Moscow and the group was told to leave the party. As the group complied and attempted to get back to their vehicle parked nearby, they were chased off by a group of about ten to twenty men attending the party. The visiting group later made their way back to their vehicle and was confronted by the local group. At that point Runner displayed a knife in what he described as an effort to protect him from the larger group, and then he put the knife away. Witnesses say both Runner and Simmons were being held back by friends until Simmons broke free and charged Runner. As Simmons charged him, Runner hit Simmons in the face, knocking him to the ground unconscious. Runner fell on top of Simmons and at some point was punched in the face by an unknown person. Runner and part of his group ran away from the scene while one of them remained and called 911. Runner suffered an abrasion on his forehead. Both Runner and Simmons admitted to drinking alcohol that evening prior to the assault.

Investigators will be forwarding the investigation and the following recommended charges to the Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney who will ultimately determine what criminal charges, if any, will be filed:

• Mansel A. Simmons (10/22/92, Pullman resident): Disorderly Conduct (misdemeanor)

• Roman J. Runner (07/08/91, Moscow resident): Assault 2nd Degree (felony)

Two potentially related incidents were also investigated by Pullman Detectives. A pistol was found near the scene, but investigators could not confirm if it was involved in the altercation or who may have been carrying it. Also, the vehicle that the Moscow group arrived in was damaged at some point after the assault, but no evidence has been uncovered to positively identify any specific suspect.


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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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