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No charges in Mansel Simmons case


Whitman County prosecutor Denis Tracy has declined to file charges against Idaho receiver Roman Runner or Washington State receiver Mansel Simmons for their role in a March 24 altercation in Pullman.

Pullman Police concluded their investigation into the matter last week and recommended a second-degree assault charge for Runner, who allegedly punched Simmons in the face and knocked him unconscious after Simmons ran at him during a skirmish outside a party.

Simmons, 20, was later treated for facial fractures and a severe concussion, and announced in April that he has been forced to retire from football due to his injuries.

He told the Spokesman-Review last week that he believed he was defending himself when he approached Runner, who had previously shown a knife before putting it away. According to a police press release, both men were being held back by friends before Simmons broke free and ran at Runner, then was knocked to the ground unconscious.

Pullman PD Cmdr. Chris Tennant said Tracy determined that Runner, 21, was acting in self-defense when he punched Simmons. Police also recommended a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct for Simmons, though Tennant said Tracy concluded that because of a number of factors, including the extent of Simmons’ injuries, he “didn’t feel (a charge) was appropriate.”

Tracy could not be reached for comment.

Simmons, who has been staying in Phoenix with family and friends as he recovers from his injuries, declined comment Wednesday.

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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Jacob Thorpe (@JacobThorpe) Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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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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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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