Athlete assault investigation continues

Alleged fight at party left WSU track athlete seriously injured

KATIE SHADLER, Evergreen reporter

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Pullman Police continue to investigate a University of Montana football player who was arrested for allegedly assaulting a WSU track and field athlete, causing him to be hospitalized in the early morning of Oct. 21.

According to a police report, track and field thrower Bradley “Wyatt” Meyring, 23, had a fractured skull and hematoma after three men, including Montana safety Justin Strong, 22, allegedly chased Meyring down and punched him to the ground after an altercation at a party.

The Spokesman-Review reported that Meyring was flown to Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane and was released on Oct. 24, but hospital officials could not confirm due to HIPAA law.

Strong, who had swelling to his right eye and a cut on his lip, said he had been breaking up a fight with Meyring and another man at a party on NE Stadium Way. One witness said Meyring had a man in a chokehold or headlock.

Strong said he was between the opposing fighters and was hit from behind, blaming Meyring. The witness said that three men, two of which were bleeding, blamed Meyring for their injuries.

Strong said Meyring had fled and that he chased after him with the initial intent to fight him. Other witnesses said the other two men also chased Meyring. Strong then said he calmed down and was walking to his residence when he encountered Meyring who balled his fists.

Another witness said Meyring had put his open palms up as the men chased him. This witness also said Meyring was trying to run away when the men reached him.

Strong said he hit Meyring in self-defense while Meyring was standing. He said Meyring then went to the ground and attempted to get back up when Strong hit him again.

One witness also said the suspects then ran up NE Lybecker Road and fled in a vehicle.

Officer Teayana Dillon arrived and saw Meyring bleeding heavily on the roadway near NE Lybecker Road and NE Stadium Way.
With Strong’s confession and witness statements, Dillon arrested Strong for second-degree assault.

Strong was held on bond of $50,000, but was released Oct. 23 after no criminal charges were filed.

The Spokesman-Review reported that Whitman County Prosecuting Attorney Denis Tracy is waiting for Pullman Police to complete their investigation before he decides to press charges. Strong will be summoned from Missoula if he does.

Pullman Police Cmdr. Chris Tennant said they are continuing interviews at this time.

The Missoulian reported that Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said that they know the names of the two other suspects involved, but are not releasing names at this time.

University of Montana released a statement Oct. 25 noting Strong would be suspended for the following two games for violating the school’s student-athlete code of conduct.

Due to the ongoing investigation, Linda Chalich, athletic communications assistant director of track and field, wrote in an email that Meyring is not available for interviews and she cannot comment on his health due to HIPAA law.

In this period before trial, Strong is not allowed to possess, consume or use alcoholic beverages or illegal substances, possess firearms or other deadly weapons or have any contact directly or indirectly with Meyring.

Strong, a senior from Rialto, California, was named the FCS National Defensive Player of the week earlier last month and leads the team in interceptions.

After a successful high school and community college throwing career, Meyring, an Edmonds native who competes in the hammer throw for WSU, transferred to the university in 2015 when he competed unattached as a redshirt junior.