- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson has been kicked off the team after he was arrested and charged Sunday with first- and third-degree assault in his connection with an attack that left a former linebacker fighting for his life, football coach Kyle Flood announced Tuesday.

Nelson, 20, who transferred to Rutgers after two seasons at Minnesota State University-Mankato, is accused of kicking Isaac Kolstad in the head in downtown Mankato, Minn., around 2 a.m. Sunday.

Kolstad, 24, a soon-to-be father of two, is in critical condition after sustaining severe head injuries. His father, Blaine Kolstad, said his son is “fighting for his life” and will undoubtedly suffer from permanent brain damage.

Dr. Dominic Cannella, a neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, “isn’t sure if Kolstad will survive and isn’t optimistic he’ll have a good recovery if he does survive. The doctor said they are taking the situation hour-by-hour,” according to a report by NJ.com.

Kolstad spent two seasons at North Dakota State in 2008 and 2009 and transferred to MSU-Mankato for his junior and senior years.

Students held a candlelight vigil for the victim at MSU on Sunday night.

Rutgers said in a statement that it is in the process of gathering more information about the assault.

“It’s an ongoing investigation, and as more information becomes available, we’ll be releasing it,” Mankato city spokeswoman Shelly Schulz said Sunday.

According to a criminal complaint, Nelson and Kolstad got into a fight in the entertainment district of Mankato early Sunday. Kolstad punched Nelson in the back, causing him to fall to the ground.

Kolstad began to move away and an unknown assailant, described as a white male in his early 20s wearing a red t-shirt and jeans, ran after him. The unknown male delivered a punch to Kolstad’s head/face. Kolstad immediately went limp and collapsed to the pavement,” NJ.com reported.

Nelson then pushed past others and delivered a kick to the head of a defenseless Kolstad,” according to the complaint. The unknown suspect fled the scene, while Nelson remained in the area and was identified by several witnesses as the person who kicked Kolstad in the head.

Nelson, 20, was observed by a police officer on the scene as having bloodshot eyes and an odor of alcohol coming from him, the complaint said,” NJ.com reported.

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