Nate Matousek, two other wrestlers charged with crimes, Matousek possibly to have felony charge dropped

David McCoy

More legal problems have befallen Minnesota’s wrestling team, while one appears to have been lifted.

Wrestler Nate Matousek and football player Marcel Jones were charged with third-degree felony assault charges in connection with an incident at a Dec. 9 house party.

Both pleaded not guilty and now it seems Matousek likely will be exonerated, according to his attorney Charles Ramsay.

At a court appearance Thursday, prosecutor Krista Bettinger told Ramsay she planned to dismiss the charges and viewed Matousek as a witness, not a participant, Ramsay said.

“I expect in a couple of weeks that the charges will be dismissed,” Ramsay said.

Bettinger did not return phone messages.

But before the news came Thursday, Matousek and two more Gophers wrestlers were charged with multiple misdemeanors over spring break.

Matousek was charged March 13 with minor consumption and fleeing from an officer.

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 Northeast 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.

The day before, wrestler Justin Bronson was cited with disorderly conduct at Burrito Loco.

According to the criminal complaint, Bronson tried to climb up a balcony inside Burrito Loco. When he was asked to leave, he began fighting with an employee, police said. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Lloyd was charged with another crime only days later. According to the police report, an officer saw Lloyd in the early morning hours of March 17 running in front of Burrito Loco carrying a baseball bat and not wearing a shirt.

Lloyd fled when he saw the officer but was caught near Fifth Street Southeast and 12th Avenue Southeast with the bat hidden in his pants, the report said.

Lloyd told the officer he was on his way to the Library bar to attack a group of people who had tried to jump him earlier in the night and had found the bat behind a nearby residence, the report said.

Lloyd was given a manual breathalyzer test and blew a 0.138. He was charged with minor consumption. Lloyd pleaded not guilty to and will appear on trial May 3.

Neither coach J Robinson nor athletics department spokesman Mike Lockrem would confirm whether the three have been suspended from the team. Matousek was already under suspension.

“We’re addressing it, I guess is what I would say,” Robinson said. “Let’s not make this into a crisis here. We’re going to wait and see, and get all the facts, and then we’ll see what we’ll do.”

Lockrem said, “We are aware of situation and we are dealing with the issue internally.”

Lloyd declined comment. Bronson did not return phone calls.