Police in Washington state say they will recommend a charge of felony assault against former University of Montana football player Justin Strong.

Strong was arrested on Oct. 21 in Pullman, home of Washington State University, and held on suspicion of assault. He later was released on his own recognizance. Strong previously told police he was breaking up a fight at a house party and later hit a man who'd first struck him.

That man, a WSU senior who is on the track and field team, suffered a fractured skull and a hematoma and was flown to a hospital in Spokane.

Strong, a senior at UM, was suspended for two games after the incident. He also missed the first game of the season due to a broken thumb.

Pullman Police Detective Sgt. Jake Opgenorth said Monday that he is in the process of finalizing a report of the investigation for review, after which it will be sent to Whitman County prosecutors. He said he will recommend the felony assault charge against Strong.

“Our investigation is pretty much complete,” Opgenorth said. “Right now we only anticipate asking for charges against Mr. Strong.”

Opgenorth said the police report will likely be submitted to prosecutors next week. 

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Law and Justice Reporter

Crime reporter for the Missoulian.