Police: Persons of interest identified in Ball attack

Police investigating a previous fight

Published On: Aug 06 2012 08:24:30 AM CDT   Updated On: Aug 04 2012 02:54:17 PM CDT

MADISON, Wis. -- Madison police have released more details surrounding the attack on Montee Ball that left the star running back unconscious early Wednesday morning.

Police said there was a fight last Friday that involved many UW-Madison students and members of the Badgers football team. Police believe Ball was present at this fight, but do not believe he was involved in the actual fight.

Police did not reveal where this fight took place, but did say one person involved had to be treated at a local hospital, from where he has since been released.

Police said no charges have yet been filed from that encounter, but said there was a potential for charges to be filed. Police said would not be releasing specific details on the people involved in that fight.

As for the attack on Ball, police said they have developed several persons of interest in Wednesday's attack.

Video evidence and interviews are providing police with leads, but police said they could certainly use more information.

"We're asking people to please step forward and be responsible about this because that information is vital to our investigation," said Howard Payne, public information officer with the Madison Police Department.

Police have interviewed several UW football players, including Ball. Police also said the UW Athletic Department has fully cooperated with the investigation.

After a report that several Badger football players were involved in last Friday's fight, the UW Athletic Department has yet to comment. But head football coach Bret Bielema did say he hoped for justice in Ball's attack.

"Talked to several kids on exactly what this could correlate to and any information we got we obviously pass it right along to police and hopefully whoever did this, justice can be served," said Bielema.

Police do not believe Ball's attack is connected to other recent incidents of violence downtown.

"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," said Madison Police Chief Noble Wray.