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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Six WSU football players persons of interest in weekend assault

Six Washington State University football players are “persons of interest” after a weekend brawl that left two students hospitalized and more with minor injuries. Pullman police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said police have confirmed WSU football players were present at the party but expects a lengthy investigation to determine their level of involvement.

Detectives were handed the case Monday morning.

The trouble began early Saturday morning, when witnesses claim a group began throwing firecrackers or fireworks at attendees of a student party in Pullman. The group was asked to leave, at which point a verbal altercation escalated into a physical one.

Cellphone video of the fight, taken (and captioned) by a partygoer, shows a number of people involved, many of whom do not appear to be athletes.

The fight left one student unconscious with a bloody wound on the back of his neck and another, 21-year-old senior Alex Rodriguez, with a broken jaw that required facial reconstructive surgery.

“We’re looking at this as a very serious felony assault level based on the injuries to two victims,” Tennant said. “I would like to make arrests later in the week. I don’t know if that’s a realistic timeline. I expect this to be a lengthy investigation. A lot of people have to be interviewed.”

“We will cooperate fully as we take these matters seriously,” WSU athletic director Bill Moos said in a statement issued Monday afternoon. “In addition, facts are being gathered within the athletic department in order to provide assistance. We have high expectations for the conduct of WSU student-athletes, and treat any alleged allegations with the utmost transparency.”