MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Madison police investigating an assault on star Wisconsin running back Montee Ball say they've developed "several persons of interest."
A police statement released Saturday says investigators have determined that a fight occurred a few days prior to the assault. That fight on July 27 involved Wisconsin students, members of the football team and others.
Police say Ball was there but there's no indication he participated in the fight.
Five days later, five men roughed up Ball near campus. Ball suffered a concussion that will keep him out of practice when camp starts Monday.
Police say they're following up on several leads, and that Ball and the school are cooperating fully.
Police Chief Noble Wray says the assault on Ball doesn't appear to be a random attack.
Here is the media release from the Madison Police Department:
The Madison Police Department, through information developed by detectives, have determined that there was a fight that occurred Friday night (July 27th-28th) which involved UW students, members of the UW football team, and other individuals that were not affiliated with the University of Wisconsin’s Athletics Department.
We have also determined that Montee Ball was present at the location of that fight, but we have no information that leads us to believe that he had any involvement in that particular event.
There was one individual that did sustain an injury during the fight, and was subsequently treated at a local hospital for that injury.
There is a potential for charges to be pursued, related to the investigated fight, but no charges have been filed.
As this investigation is ongoing, specific details outlining the identities of either victims or involved parties are not being released.
As the Madison Police Department attempts to direct its focus to the attack of Montee Ball on 8/1/2012, at approximately 2:15am, helpful information has also been developed through interviews and available video evidence.
The detectives have developed several persons of interests on the attack of Montee Ball, and are following up on subsequent leads.
Several UW football players have been interviewed, and we have received full cooperation from The Athletics Department, all players including Montee Ball.
Other details about this incident will not be released, as there are a number of investigative leads that are being pursued.
It is important to note that in a high profile case such as this, we should reserve judgment and limit the amount of misinformation that is disseminated, as it does not help the investigation that is being conducted by The Madison Police Department.
Chief Wray has stated, “Although Montee Ball was assaulted on a public street, this incident does not fit the pattern of random violence that we have seen in recent weeks in downtown Madison”.
(WEAU) - The Madison Police Department says a group of men attacked star Wisconsin running back Montee Ball early Wednesday morning, knocking him to the ground and causing injuries that sent him to the hospital.
Police said five men jumped Ball around 2:15 a.m. near campus. They knocked him down and kicked him. The Madison Police Department says they normally don't see problems during the week near campus.
"Typically we're seeing problems on weekend nights, Friday, Saturday. So we had people in the downtown area obviously on any night. But we didn't have the additional resources Tuesday," said Joel Despain, Madison Police Department.
Ball, a finalist for the Hesiman Trophy last season, was taken to a hospital with head injuries. Coach Bret Bielema said Ball has been released and is under the care of the school's sports medicine staff. Bielema says he expects Ball will make a full recovery, but did not address Ball's availability. The season opens Sept. 1 against Northern Iowa.
Police say Ball apparently didn't know who the men were.