Madison police are investigating the early morning assault of a Badger football standout. Senior running back Montee Ball was jumped on a downtown street near the UW campus early Wednesday morning. “According to witnesses, we had five men who jumped him, knocked him down, kicked him in the head,” said Madison Police Department spokesman Joel DeSpain. “There were witnesses in the area that were able to intervene, and the perpetrators fled.”
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Ball, who suffered head injuries, told officers he did not recognize any of his assailants. “At this time, we don’t have any indication that robbery was involved,” said DeSpain. “This was a battery.” The assault on Ball occurred along a stretch of University Avenue which has seen increased weekend police patrols in the wake of numerous incidents, including shots fired into a crowd of people outside a bar.
Badgers coach Bret Bielema expects Ball, a Missouri native who announced earler this year that he’d return to play his final season with the Badgers, to make a full recovery, although it’s not clear whether he’ll join the team for the start of fall training camp this weekend. “My concern right now is for Montee’s health and well-being,” said a statement from the coach. “Montee has been released from the hospital and is under the care and supervision of our sports medicine staff. We will continue to evaluate him as we approach the start of fall camp this weekend. I do expect Montee to make a full recovery.”
Earlier this year, at Madison’s problem-plagued Mifflin Street Block Party, Ball was cited for trespassing, although police said he didn’t do anything beyond being on a porch, and a resident didn’t want him there.
Incident Report from the Madison Police Department:
08/01/2012 – 2:15 AM
500 block University Ave.
Male, black, wearing a blue polo shirt
Male, black, wearing a purple polo shirt
Male, black, wearing a white shirt
Male, black, wearing a red shirt
Attackers were described as ranging from 5’8″ to 6’3″ with small to heavy builds.