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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 christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

Mansel Simmons discusses his recovery


Just a quick post this morning to point you to our long feature on former WSU receiver Mansel Simmons, who is making strides in his recovery from a facial fracture and severe concussion. Simmons gave his first interview last week since announcing his retirement from football.

Here's a link to the story.

Vandal Could Face Felony Over Punch

An Idaho football player could face a felony assault charge for his part in an altercation that ended the career of former Washington State receiver Mansel Simmons. Pullman Police announced in a press release Wednesday that they are recommending a second-degree felony assault charge against Idaho receiver Roman Runner for allegedly delivering the punch that fractured Simmons’ face and caused a severe concussion in the early morning hours of March 24. Whitman County prosecuting attorney Denis P. Tracy will decide whether to file charges in the case. Runner also allegedly displayed a knife, according to the release, but put it away before Simmons charged at him, which is when Runner punched Simmons in the head and knocked him to the ground/Christian Caple, SR. More here.

Question: Are you as tired as I am of all the football players from the University of Idaho and Washington State who get in trouble with the law?

Charges recommended in Mansel Simmons case


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.