The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

May 11, 2014

Former West football star Nelson arrested for assault

East grad, former MSU player in critical condition after assault

MANKATO — Former Mankato West football star Philip Nelson has been arrested after police say he assaulted a former Minnesota State University football player early Sunday morning.

Officers on patrol in downtown Mankato came across the victim of an apparent assault, 24-year-old Isaac Dallas Kolstad, just after 2 a.m. near the corner of Cherry and South Front streets. Kolstad, a 2008 Mankato East graduate who played three seasons for MSU, was taken to the hospital, where he was listed in critical condition as of 5 p.m. Sunday.

Nelson, 20, was found at the scene and taken to jail in connection with the assault. Police are seeking charges of third-degree assault against Nelson.

Police are looking for another person who was involved, and anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 911.

Public Safety Cmdr. Amy Vokal said police aren’t answering any other questions about the case at this time.

Kolstad graduated from MSU’s College of Business in December with a degree in management.

His family released a statement through the hospital saying they are “extremely grateful for the outpouring of support we have received during this difficult time.”

“Isaac is a very strong and determined young man, who is dearly loved by his family and friends. We would respectfully ask for your continued prayers. ... Thank you for your understanding and continued thoughts and prayers for Isaac, his wife and children, and all others who are involved in this situation.”

A candlelight vigil for Kolstad was held at MSU’s Myers Field House Sunday evening.

Video of the vigil

Former football player Sam Thompson told the crowd that Kolstad was in critical condition with brain trauma. A pastor at Crossview Covenant Church, where some MSU players attend, led the crowd of 300 or so in a brief prayer.

Thompson also said Kolstad has a 3-year-old daughter, and that his wife is pregnant. Kolstad recently started working at Fastenal, he said.

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