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Viking Caleb King beat man after being teased, sheriff’s office says

This news story was published on April 29, 2012.
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Jeremy Fowler, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn. –

Minnesota Vikings running back Caleb King was arrested Saturday, April 28, after he allegedly sent a man to the hospital with a “substantial set of injuries” from an attack outside a party, according to the Anoka County sheriff’s office.

A news release from the sheriff’s office said King, 24, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree assault. King, who remains in custody at the county jail, allegedly caused injuries that resulted in more than 50 stitches for the victim, who might have “very serious brain damage,” according to the release.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said of the arrest: “I was made aware of it today. I don’t have any further comment on it right now. We’re still collecting and gathering information.”

The sheriff’s office gave the following account:

King was attending the birthday party of a 21-year-old female friend in Oak Grove when he took offense to the victim teasing King “about his resemblance to a celebrity” about 3:15 a.m. King followed the victim to his car and punched him in the face, and when the victim got into the car and locked the passenger door to call 911, King opened the driver’s-side door and pulled the victim out, punching him several times and throwing him head-first to the ground.

Homeowners took the victim inside and refused to call 911, the report says, but the sheriff’s office tracked the victim’s cellphone location from the attempted call inside the car. The homeowner told a deputy outside of the home

that there was no problem, the report says.

The alleged victim is in serious condition at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.

King, who has not been charged, was arrested on 192nd Avenue, where the party was, and he denies assaulting the man, the report says, saying the man “simply fell to the ground when King was talking to him.”

King, who went undrafted in last year’s supplemental draft, was on the Vikings’ practice squad until a Week 17 promotion. He was inactive in the season finale against Chicago.

King, 5 feet 11 and 217 pounds, was a highly recruited high school player from Norcross, Ga., and was considered the University of Georgia’s top signee in its 2007 recruiting class, according to a July 2011 story in the Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald.

While at Georgia, King was suspended for two games for failing to appear in traffic court because of a speeding ticket and then sat out the Liberty Bowl because he violated university policy by missing his fifth academic meeting.

In July, the university declared him academically ineligible.

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