Montee Ball

Prosecutors decline to press charges in fight before attack on Montee Ball

2012-10-25T04:50:00Z 2014-12-18T13:17:42Z Prosecutors decline to press charges in fight before attack on Montee BallSANDY CULLEN | Wisconsin State Journal | scullen@madison.com | 608-252-6137 madison.com

Criminal charges will not be filed in connection with a fight at a July party that police say might have precipitated an attack on Badgers running back Montee Ball, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said.

Ozanne said Madison police recommended that two UW football players be charged with felony substantial battery in the fight that injured a university student who is charged in the attack on Ball the following week.

The State Journal is not naming the players because they have not been arrested or charged with a crime.

Ozanne said he did not believe prosecutors could prove the allegations.

His office also declined to file a charge of disorderly conduct against Wendell J. Venerable, 21, who was injured in the fight the night of July 27. Venerable is one of three UW-Madison students charged with being a party to substantial battery in the Aug. 1 attack on Ball in the 500 block of University Avenue.

Deonte Wilson, 21, and Robert Wilks, 22, also are also charged in the attack that left Ball, a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist, unconscious and with a concussion. The three are scheduled for trial in December.

According to a criminal complaint, Ball was walking behind two friends when the friends heard someone call Ball's name. They turned to see him being attacked by five men. Two of the men have not been identified or charged.

A witness told police that one of the assailants said Ball had "jumped" him the week before, the complaint states.

Police and Ball have said that he was at the party where the fight occurred but was not involved in it.

Ozanne said there was some kind of disturbance at the party and others present may have intervened, but differing accounts failed to provide a clear picture of what happened. Those involved also could have potentially valid claims of acting in self-defense or defense of others, he said.

"Punches were thrown," Ozanne said.

Police learned of the fight while investigating the attack on Ball.

Police spokesman Joel DeSpain said the investigation of the fight at the party is now complete.

Copyright 2015 madison.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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