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Assault victim's condition still serious

A Menlo College student who was assaulted by a member of the school's football team and another man early on the morning of Thursday, Jan. 29, is no longer in danger of dying from his injuries, according to police.

The student was released from Stanford Hospital over the weekend, but was forced to return to the hospital on the morning of Monday, Feb. 2, said Detective Jeff Vasquez of the Menlo Park Police Department. Detective Vasquez said he would describe the man's condition as "serious, but non-life-threatening."

Benjamin Kain-Williams of Atherton, the Menlo College football player, and Darrell Willis of Wheatland, California, were arrested and charged with assault resulting in great bodily injury, and conspiracy to commit a crime.

The Menlo College Web site lists Mr. Kain-Williams as a sophomore linebacker on the football team. The college confirmed that the victim is also a student there.

"We are a small and very close community of students, faculty and staff at Menlo College, and we are deeply upset by this incident," said Timothy Haight, the college's president, in a press release. "Menlo College will continue to stress the importance of responsible behavior, not just among our students, but to local establishments who serve or sell alcohol to college students in their communities."

The incident took place at the intersection of Glenwood Avenue and Garwood Avenue in Menlo Park. The two men who were assaulted were part of a larger group that had exchanged words at a restaurant with another group of men earlier that night, according to preliminary investigations by police.

"The libations were flowing, and so was the testosterone," said Detective Vasquez. "They had some words, and that was that."

The group that included the men who were assaulted left the restaurant to get "soda and chips for the road" at a "nearby establishment," Detective Vasquez said. It appears that the other group followed them there, meeting them in a parking lot, he said.

The groups dispersed and met up again further down the street, where the dispute escalated into a physical confrontation, according to Detective Vasquez.

He said it was not clear whether the two suspects were specifically targeting the man who sustained serious injuries.

It is still possible that the police department will press charges against some of the other people involved in the fight, including the man who is currently in the hospital, according to Detective Vasquez.

The police department asks those with information on the incident to call the department at 330-6300, or the department's anonymous tip line at 330-6395.

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