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Montee Ball was sent to the hospital following an unprovoked attack by five men early Wednesday morning. Ball, star running back of the Wisconsin football team, was a Heisman Trophy finalist last year. It's not clear if his high-profile status around Madison played a role in the attack.
As a result of the beating, Ball suffered head injuries, reports ESPN.
Witnesses say that the men knocked Ball to the ground and began kicking him. Ball has been released from the hospital though his coach says that the team medical staff is still supervising him.
Ball didn't know his attackers and the assault is classified as "unprovoked," according to an incident report. Once police catch the five men, they face serious penalties.
The suspects could catch a break, though, as they could avoid the most serious penalties given Montee Ball's physical shape and size.
In Wisconsin, the varying degrees of battery depend upon how seriously injured the victim was. For example, someone who causes bodily harm to another faces a class A misdemeanor charge and up to 9 months in jail. In contrast, someone who causes substantial bodily harm to another faces a class I felony and up to 3 1/2 years in jail. And someone who causes great bodily harm faces a class H felony and up to 6 years in jail.
Five grown men beating and kicking a 70-year-old grandmother would likely cause "great" bodily harm and the attackers would likely face felony charges. But because Montee Ball is over 200 pounds of muscle, he may well save his attackers a felony charge as he was only hospitalized for a short time and probably did not suffer great or substantial bodily harm. Of course, that decision would be up to a prosecutor to decide.