Three men arrested in wake of Ball attack

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Police Department has arrested

three men for their alleged involvement in the assault of University of

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball.

According to the police report, 21-year-olds Wendell J. Venerable, Deonte J.

Wilson and Robert A. Wilks were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon. All three

individuals are from Madison and have been tentatively charged with party to a

crime of substantial battery. 

Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, allegedly was beaten by five

men near campus as he walked back to his apartment at 2:15 a.m. on Aug. 1. He

sustained a concussion and missed the first week of fall camp. 

“You obviously still think about it,” Ball said last week after he

was named a team co-captain. “It’s most definitely behind me. I have no

more anger towards the people who did it. I’ll be honest, I did. It was a bad

situation, and it’s behind me.

“There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m just going to use that energy from

it and use the anger that I had from it and just channel it on the field.”

Police noted that while investigating the battery, they learned of a fight which

broke out at a house party the night of Friday, July 27, which may have led to

Ball’s assault. That fight involved Wisconsin students, including some football

players.

Ball was present when the fight took place, but he has denied any

involvement. Police also have not found any evidence that Ball was involved,

and the case is still under review.

Last season, Ball led the country in rushing yards (1,923) and rushing

touchdowns (33). He scored 39 total touchdowns to tie the FBS record set by

Barry Sanders in 1988. He announced in January that he would return for his

senior season rather than enter the NFL Draft.

Wisconsin opens its season Sept. 1 at home against Northern Iowa, and Ball

has been cleared to play.

“Everyone is looking to see how I respond after what I dealt

with,” Ball said Tuesday. “I dealt with a lot this summer. Once

adversity strikes, you’ve got to respond.”

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