Felony charges recommended against Idaho receiver Roman Runner in Simmons assault

William Mancebo

Pullman Police are also recommending Simmons face a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

The Pullman Police Department is recommending a charge of second degree assault against Vandals' receiver Roman Runner and a charge of disorderly for Mansel Simmons after finally wrapping up its investigation into a fight between WSU and Idaho football players March 24 on College Hill, according to a release from PPD.

The fight left former WSU receiver Mansel Simmons unconscious and forced his retirement from football because of the injuries. As part of the release, we finally got a complete rundown of what police believe happened that night.

Police say Runner and a group of other men were asked to leave a party on Ash Street and attempted to get to their car. After being chased away from the party by a large group, the visitors tried to get back to their car and were confronted by the local group.

According to police, at some point Runner displayed a knife to try and defend the smaller group but he later put it away. Both groups were allegedly holding Simmons and Runner back when Simmons broke free and charged at Runner. That's when police say Runner punched Simmons in the face, causing him to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.

Authorities say Runner fell on top of Simmons and, at some point, was punched in the face by an unknown person and suffered a abrasion on his forehead. Police say Runner's group fled the scene but one stayed behind and called 911 to report the incident.

Police say they also found a pistol near the scene but detectives couldn't determine if it was involved in the incident or who it belonged to.

Police have recommended a second degree assault charge for Runner and a disorderly conduct charge for Simmons but it's up to the prosecutors' office to determine what, if any, charges will be filed. Second degree assault is a Class B felony and carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to 90 days in jail.

It goes without saying but I'll do it anyway: whether charges are ever filed or not, this doesn't look good for either program. The issue of having two FBS football programs just a few miles apart is a fairly unique one. Anytime they get together off the gridiron their could be issues, especially at a party. Hopefully any remaining tempers have cooled by Sept. 21 when these teams meet up in the Battle of the Palouse for the first time since the 2007 season.

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