Just after 2 a.m. yesterday, 20-year-old former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson was arrested in connection with a Mankato assault that left former Minnesota State University linebacker Isaac Kolstad in critical condition with a brain injury.
According to a recording of the Mankato police scanner traffic pertaining to the incident, witnesses say Nelson kicked Kolstad, 24, in the head. Jail records indicate Nelson is being held in custody this morning on suspicion of third-degree assault resulting in substantial bodily harm. He hasn't yet been charged with any crimes.
Mankato police say the incident happened in the city's "downtown entertainment district," near the intersection of Cherry and South Front streets.
Minnesota Police Clips, citing a portion of the scanner recording not published online, reports that before Nelson's kick, a witness saw a second suspect punch Kolstad. Kolstad fell to the ground and hit his head. At that point, Nelson kicked Kolstad.
Following the alleged assault, officers in the scanner recording can be heard describing Kolstad as "knocked out," "unconscious," and "gurgling." One officer said he'd been told Kolstad was kicked in the head twice.
The second suspect, described as a white male wearing a torn red shirt, hasn't been apprehended as of this morning.
Kolstad's father detailed Isaac's condition in this post on his CaringBridge page:
Isaac suffered a severe head injury early this morning. He is currently in Critical condition and fighting for his life. He is young and strong, but the battle he has in front of him is enormous. He had one surgery today to put a pressure gauge in his skull. He may need additional surgeries in the coming days. We do know that his brain did sustain permanent damage. We do not yet know to what extent and won't for many days. He is very sick. Please pray for Isaac and all of those involved.Nelson, 20, was Minnesota's Mr. Football while playing for Mankato West in 2011. He was the Gophers' starting quarterback for part of 2012 and most of last season, but announced in January he's transferring to Rutgers, citing a desire to play in an offense that throws the ball more.
Kolstad, a 24-year-old Mankato East graduate, played for MSU for three seasons before graduating in December. His wife is reportedly pregnant, and he has a 3-year-old daughter.