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Rutgers transfer QB charged with felony assault

Allegations of a night of underage drinking and an alleged stolen kiss surround the sketchy details that have led to charges against a Rutgers University transfer quarterback. None of the allegations occurred in the Garden State, but some New Jersey residents who follow Rutgers football may understand that criminal, charges can interfere with college opportunities.

A former linebacker at a college in the Midwest was seriously injured in an alleged altercation over the weekend. The fight was reported in the hometown of Rutgers University transfer quarterback Philip Nelson. Nelson was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of assault; he was formally charged in the Midwest on Monday. A second man who authorities believe sucker-punched the victim was arrested on Monday evening.

Authorities say that Nelson had words with the alleged assault victim while walking outside after the bars closed early Sunday. Police think that Nelson thought that the man he saw on the street had kissed, or tried to kiss, his girlfriend. Authorities say that an argument erupted when the man who was ultimately injured struck Nelson in the back. A third man, who authorities say was taken into custody Monday evening, intervened and knocked down the former linebacker. Police claim that Nelson then kicked the man in the head while he was down.

Nelson allegedly told police that he does not remember kicking the victim. He thought that the man on the street may have been a bouncer who Nelson says tried to kiss his girlfriend inside the bar earlier in the night.

The short alleged altercation has left one man critically injured and two men facing criminal charges for an alleged assault.

Violent crimes often carry significant consequences. A brief dispute outside a New Jersey bar, for example, that results in serious injury could expose a person to a lengthy prison sentence. While physical altercations may occur quickly, criminal defense lawyers may review the story with an eye to determining the exact sequence of events in determining what options may be available in a particular case, including whether self defense or other factors may be appropriate.

Source: ABC News, “Minnesota Linebacker Isaac Kolstad Knocked Out by Unknown Man,” Collen Curry, May 12, 2014;, “Police arrest second suspect in former Rutgers QB Philip Nelson's assault case,” A.J. Perez, May 13, 2014

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