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UI, WSU player claim self-defense

Submitted by on 03.28.2013 – 10:00 pm

Following interviews with both parties, Pullman police are reporting that Washington State football player Mansel Simmons and an unnamed Idaho football player are both claiming self-defense after engaging in a fistfight during a party that took place Saturday night in Pullman.

The altercation occurred during an alleged brawl between the WSU and Idaho football teams in the parking lot of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, close to Maple Street, where the party was said to have taken place.

Simmons suffered a skull fracture and was transported from Pullman Regional Hospital to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where he was diagnosed with further injuries.

Simmons regained consciousness Monday, and was interviewed by investigators Tuesday.

“Yesterday we interviewed Simmons, got his half of the story,” Cmdr. Chris Tennant told The Argonaut Wednesday. “In a nutshell he’s claiming self-defense — both claimed self-defense.”

Tennant doesn’t anticipate that any arrests will be made, though the investigation will continue. The case hasn’t provided enough evidence to jump to any conclusions and Tennant said assessments will be made at the end of the week.

He does expect to interview a few people who claimed to be witnesses — if they agree to speak about the incident.

Detectives were unable to come to any conclusions regarding a gun and a knife that were reported to be present during the brawl.

That same evening, a vehicle parked in the Sacred Heart lot was smashed, and was said to be the car of Idaho receiver Kyren Watts’ girlfriend. Watts was not a part of the altercation and isn’t a suspect, according to police.

Tennant said it’s a “fair assumption” that there weren’t any other altercations Saturday evening.

Neither athletic department has made a statement regarding the incident, and Idaho coach Paul Petrino would not comment when asked about it following Wednesday’s football practice.

Theo Lawson can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu

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