MINNEAPOLIS (AP/WCCO) – A Minnesota Vikings running back is in jail after he allegedly beat up a 22-year-old man early Saturday morning at a birthday party in Oak Grove.
Twenty-four-year-old Caleb King is currently in the Anoka County Jail, pending formal charges, authorities said.
Paul Sommer with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said King was booked for third-degree assault with substantial bodily harm.
A woman has identified the victim as her brother, 22-year-old Andrew Eagle. She says she fears Eagle’s wounds will be with him all his life.
Eagle is in serious condition at Mercy Hospital. Police say he suffered fractures on his face and skull – injuries that required more than 50 stitches to close.
He may also have “very serious” brain injuries, police say.
Regarding the incident, Vikings GM Rick Spielman stated, “I just was made aware of it today and I don’t have any further comment on it right now. We take each situation as it comes in and evaluate it and make decisions of where we feel that player is. And if it’s a risk or something that we don’t want to deal with, then we’ll deal with it.”
Spielman added, “But we’re not the only NFL team that has its situations. We try to prevent those because it’s very important to what we’re trying to build here, and you just have to deal with them when they come and make decisions based off that.”
A press release from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office paints this picture of the assault:
King and Eagle came as guests to a 21-year-old woman’s birthday party. The party took place at a home on the 3400 block of 192nd Avenue Northwest, which belonged to the woman’s parents.
Things appeared to be going well until 3:15 a.m., when Eagle allegedly told King he looked like a celebrity. King took offense to the remark and followed Eagle to a car.
When close to the car, King punched Eagle in the face, police said.
Eagle told police he tried to get in the car’s passenger side door, lock himself in and call 911. But as he was making the call, King pulled Eagle out of the car from the driver’s side door and began punching him in the face.
After the attack, Eagle told police the homeowners helped him into the home but refused to call police. Instead they told him they’d drop him off at his house. However, when Eagle initially tried to call 911, authorities were able to track the phone’s location and send an officer.
When police arrived at the scene, the homeowner said there had been no problem at the party and that no one needed help. As the homeowner spoke with police, Eagle was inside his home, suffering from his injuries.
Police arrested King at the house without incident. He denied that he punched Eagle, saying that the man just fell over while the two were talking.
If King is to be charged, the Anoka County Attorney’s Office will file charges early next week.
It’s the latest off-the-field issue for King, a highly touted recruit at Georgia who ran into several problems during his college career. He was arrested for failing to appear for a court date on a speeding ticket and declared academically ineligible in his final year at Georgia and went undrafted in the supplemental draft before signing with the Vikings.
The celebrity King was compared to is not known.
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