PULLMAN, Wash. – Pullman Police detectives concluded their investigation of an assault between students from Washington State University and the University of Idaho.
It happened March 24, 2013 near Ash Street and Maple in Pullman.
Pullman officers had been dispatched to that location and found Mansel Simmons, 20, unconscious, the apparent victim of an assault.
Simmons was initially transported to Pullman Regional Hospital, and later to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where he was treated for facial fractures and a concussion.
After speaking with more than a dozen witnesses, investigators concluded a verbal argument between two groups of men attending a party in the 300 block of NE Ash Street escalated into a brief physical confrontation between Simmons and Roman Runner, 21.
Runner was with three other men visiting from Moscow and the group was told to leave the party. As the group complied and attempted to get back to their vehicle parked nearby, they were chased off by a group of about ten to twenty men attending the party.
The visiting group later made their way back to their vehicle and was confronted by the local group. At that point Runner displayed a knife in what he described as an effort to protect him from the larger group, and then he put the knife away. Witnesses said both Runner and Simmons were being held back by friends until Simmons broke free and charged Runner.
As Simmons charged him, Runner hit Simmons in the face, knocking him to the ground unconscious. Runner fell on top of Simmons and at some point was punched in the face by an unknown person. Runner and part of his group ran away from the scene while one of them remained and called 911.
Runner suffered an abrasion on his forehead. Both Runner and Simmons admitted to drinking alcohol that evening prior to the assault.
Investigators will be forwarding the investigation and the following recommended charges to the Whitman County prosecuting attorney who will ultimately determine what criminal charges, if any, will be filed:
Simmons was charged with disorderly conduct. Runner was charged with assault 2nd degree.
Two potentially related incidents were also investigated by Pullman detectives. A pistol was found near the scene, but investigators could not confirm if it was involved in the altercation or who may have been carrying it. Also, the vehicle that the Moscow group arrived in was damaged at some point after the assault, but no evidence has been uncovered to positively identify any specific suspect.