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Victim in alleged Phillip Nelson assault had part of brain removed

Philip Nelson AP

A story that had already hurtled past heartbreaking has taken an abrupt turn toward the horrific.

Last weekend, now-former Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson was arrested in connection to what was reportedly a vicious assault outside of a Mankato, Minn., bar.  Nelson was ultimately charged with first- and third-degree assault in an incident that left the victim, former Div. II football player Isaac Kolstad, hospitalized and fighting for his life.

Saturday, Kolstad’s family released a statement updating his status and it sounds, quite frankly, dire.

Kolstad is currently on life support after undergoing surgery Tuesday to relieve pressure on his brain, three days after allegedly being repeatedly kicked in the head by Nelson and another man who has been charged as well. “A significant amount of his brain tissue that was no longer viable [was] removed,” the family’s statement read, while also confirming Kolstad is not able to breathe on his own.  He underwent a tracheotomy Friday because of the damage to his lungs.

Kolstad is in a medically-induced coma and listed in critical condition.

Isaac KolatadFrom the family’s statement:

“The swelling in Isaac’s brain remains significant. Isaac’s lungs also sustained severe injury, resulting in the inability to breathe on his own. He also sustained a lack of oxygen to his brain.

“Isaac’s care team of neurosurgeons, physicians, nurses, therapists and others are doing everything they possibly can each day to keep Isaac alive and fighting. We are blessed to have Mayo Clinic care so close to home for Isaac. There is no doubt in our minds he is receiving the very best care available.”

The 24-year-old Kolstad is married and has a young daughter.

While Kolstad lays in a hospital fighting for his life, Nelson is free on a $20,000 bond.

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25 Responses to “Victim in alleged Phillip Nelson assault had part of brain removed”
  1. patbocam says: May 18, 2014 2:55 PM

    Sure would like to know the antecedents leading up to the fight. Such a terrible thing for his wife and kids. 2 against 1 and kicking a man in the head when he is down…..? Dude better pray the guy lives or he’s looking at a much different charge.

  2. mauldawg says: May 18, 2014 3:16 PM

    Take Nelson and the other scum bag and have someone stomp them to as near death as possible. Have them live the rest of their lives in a nursing home. Might sound harsh,but look what these two cowards did. I know this wont happen in America they may get some slick lawyer and convince a jury that Kolstad started it. What a shame that a young husband and father will never be able to enjoy life again.

  3. seanb20124 says: May 18, 2014 3:51 PM

    Not quite sure what Nelsons culpability is in this matter, but I hope he prepares for prison sentence 5 to 10 maybe.

    Maybe even a hate crime

  4. 1harrypairatesties says: May 18, 2014 4:06 PM

    5 to 10 that’s it ?!! If this guy dies how about life in prison. Put him in a cell with Bubba & turn out the lights.

  5. scbaby2013 says: May 18, 2014 4:31 PM

    I feel so bad for the young man and his family.

  6. jrocknstuff says: May 18, 2014 4:44 PM

    If Kolstad survives, which I hope he does, why can’t they up the charges to attempted murder? Why is life or death the deciding factor on upping the charges from assault?

  7. bostonfrogs says: May 18, 2014 5:11 PM

    Seeing this young family smiling so peacefully like that–blissfully unaware of what lies ahead on the day that picture was taken–is just gut-wrenching.

  8. ducksk says: May 18, 2014 5:17 PM

    Why is he out on bail? Charge should be attempted murder.

  9. statsdolie says: May 18, 2014 5:57 PM

    Disgusting how people act after and few drinks and get into fights. Whatever happened I can rest assured that a physical confrontation wasnt needed.

  10. scrubgayle says: May 18, 2014 6:07 PM

    It wouldn’t even matter who started it or what was said. NOBODY deserves to be beaten like that, especially when the odds were unfairly stacked. Two on one is not only underhanded, it’s cowardly. I hope Phillip Nelson and his accomplice have been losing a lot of sleep over this and I hope justice prevails in the form of an attempted murder charge and some serious prison time. Nelson better hope Isaac doesn’t die or he’ll face even more charges.

    My thoughts and prayers to Isaac Kolstad and his family. They didn’t deserve this.

  11. bueller101 says: May 18, 2014 6:10 PM

    Wow. That poor little girl will grow up without a father. But sadly due to the state of reporting, more people will be outraged by Johhny Football’s visit to a frat or Jameis Winston’s $30 crab leg scandal than this.

  12. thegonz13 says: May 18, 2014 6:28 PM

    OK, so to recap. A husband and father is lying in a hospital bed -and probably looking at being a vegetable for the rest of his life- while one of the guys who helped put him in the hospital is walking around freely.

    Yeah, sounds fair!

  13. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: May 18, 2014 7:50 PM

    Pathetic statement by his attorneys.

  14. lbijake says: May 18, 2014 8:42 PM

    Condolences and prayers for him and his family.

    The QB played for Rutgers, the school whose students protested having Condoleezza Rice as a commencement speaker. It just seems a weird coincidence.

  15. sportsguy3434 says: May 18, 2014 8:42 PM

    How can people give a thumbs down to a statement like “I feel so bad for this man and his family”? Go figure.

  16. vikingapologist says: May 18, 2014 9:57 PM

    Prayers to the family! My heart goes out to all involved! Tragic in every way

  17. macdega says: May 18, 2014 10:42 PM

    He never played at Rutgers

  18. chinahand11 says: May 18, 2014 11:46 PM

    Beer, young men, testosterone, and bam! Lives and families are ruined left and right. Man. A shame for all. My thoughts go to that poor young man. No one deserves head-stomped into a vegetative state.

  19. iammrbinky says: May 19, 2014 1:20 AM

    Cowards like Nelson don’t lose sleep as a result of their actions. They feel justified in what they did.

  20. wonderfulwizardofoz says: May 19, 2014 5:20 AM

    Reblogged this on Wonderfulwizardofoz's Blog.

  21. vikingapologist says: May 19, 2014 6:36 AM

    I cannot speak for Nelson, but I will tell you. When I was 17, we a large group was involved in a big fight in minneapolis, a night that changed my life forever. One you man was hit in the head and it was a tragic outcome As well. It was not me that made the blow but I know the person that did. I can assure you, I think alcohol is the worst drug on the planet. It can change a person so much. When they come to, they can be horrified with what they said or did…. This person ended up spending several years in prison, and I know that It impacted his heart in every way…. All I can say is pray for everyone

  22. ninjapleazee says: May 19, 2014 8:32 AM

    So these 3 men get into an altercation after a bar argument and one ends up brain dead and we’re supposed to rally and send prayers and hold vigils because something tragic resulted after all three couldn’t be mature and walk away. Sorry but I’ll save my sympathies for a more worthy cause.

  23. thegonz13 says: May 19, 2014 1:13 PM

    @ninja… Assuming the events unfolded as you described, it’s still no excuse for two guys to put another in the hospital in near-death condition. Neither you not I know what really happened at that bar but one thing is certain: a man, a husband and a father of two -his wife is reportedly due to give birth any time now- will probably never regain consciousness. And no matter what really happened, that is inexcusable.

  24. mogogo1 says: May 20, 2014 12:45 AM

    That is a tiny amount of bail. I can see him getting bail but when a guy is near death I’d expect the one responsible would need to put up more than a couple grand for the bail bond.

  25. dhardy8207 says: May 21, 2014 8:48 AM

    Tragic!!… My heart breaks for his wife, children and entire family. These youngsters need to realize it can all go wrong so quickly especially when alcohol is involved.

    My prayers are with this young man fighting for life and his family. The young men responsible for this type of assault should not be walking freely! If he dies then they’re looking at a second degree murder charge at best….

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