Minnesota wrestler Nate Matousek’s third-degree felony assault charge has been dismissed.
Matousek, along with Gophers football player Marcel Jones, was charged in connection with an incident at a house party near 25th Avenue Southeast and Como Avenue Southeast on Dec. 9.
Matousek’s charge was dropped April 25.
“Right from the beginning there was only one person who believed that my client was involved in the assault,” said Charles Ramsey, Matousek’s lawyer. “We got witness statements from half-a-dozen other people and pointed out to the prosecution that their own investigation showed there was only one person saying my client was involved.
“And then, finally, we got the one person who jumped to the conclusion that it was my client that was involved. That’s when they realized that indeed my client was not involved.”
Matousek and Jones were charged with punching and kicking a 20-year-old man in the face at a house party. The victim suffered broken teeth and a black eye, according to the incident report.
Matthew Bell, a friend of the victim, said Jones and four other men pushed the victim into a row of trees and then against a Suburban, at which point the men repeatedly kicked and punched the victim in the face, badly enough to require reconstructive dental surgery.
Bell said the confrontation began when the victim refused to put his shirt back on while dancing at the party.
Jones is awaiting trial May 30.
“I hope the best for Marcel,” Matousek said. “I hope everything works out for him.”
Both were suspended indefinitely from “all athletic-related activity,” athletics department spokesman Shane Sandersfeld said.
Matousek said that was the hardest part.
“It was tough not being able to practice with the guys, especially when they’re training for a national title,” Matousek said. “And here I (was), knowing I’m innocent and just not being able to practice with the team.”
Matousek said he can’t wait to move on.
“I’ve definitely learned a lot of lessons with life. Stuff that a lot of students might learn in four years, I learned in one,” Matousek said. “I’d like to put this behind me and move on and not have to deal with it.”
But before he can move on, Matousek still has other legal issues to deal with, stemming from misdemeanor charges of minor consumption and fleeing from an officer March 13.
According to a police report, Matousek was in a car driven by teammate Charles Lloyd when police attempted to pull the car over near 14th Avenue Southeast and Central Avenue Northeast.
The wrestlers evaded the squad car by fleeing on foot, but were arrested and booked in Hennepin County Jail, the report said. Lloyd was charged with driving while intoxicated, minor consumption and fleeing from an officer.
Konrad to compete at U Championships
Fresh off winning an NCAA title, Minnesota heavyweight wrestler Cole Konrad will compete in the World University Championships in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, from June 15 through June 20 after winning the 264.5 pound division at University Nationals in Evanston, Ill., last weekend.
Konrad beat Oregon State’s Ty Watterson and North Carolina’s Dan Goetter to qualify.
Gophers teammate Roger Kish will be an alternate on the team after placing second at 185 pounds.