Caleb King, a Minnesota Vikings practice squad running back, has been arrested and booked into the Anoka County jail on a third-degree assault charge.
According to the Anoka County Sheriff's Office, 24-year-old King is accused of beating up a 22-year-old Coon Rapids man who told the Vikings player he resembled a celebrity.
The victim was hospitalized in serious condition Saturday evening with a skull fracture, facial fractures and injuries that required more than 50 stitches to close. Doctors at Mercy Hospital believe the victim may also have a very serious brain injury.
It all started at a house on the 3400 Block of 192nd Avenue Northwest in Oak Grove, where King was celebrating a friend's 21st birthday. Both King and the alleged victim were invited guests.
According to the police report, the victim was teasing King about his resemblance to an unnamed celebrity at about 3:15 a.m. Saturday. King took offense to the comment, and later followed the victim outside and hit him in the face, officials say.
The victim told police he got into a car, locked the passenger door and called 911, but King -- the 5'11 and 217-pound running back -- opened the car door and pulled him out. King then punched the victim repeatedly in the head and face and threw him head-first to the ground, police said.
The victim was eventually helped inside the parents who were hosting the party. He said he asked the homeowners to call 911, but says they refused and instead offered him a ride home.
The victim's initial 911 call had been received and a deputy was sent to the address of the call. The homeowner, however, told the responding deputy there was no problem at the house and nobody needed help, despite the serious beating just moments earlier.
Caleb King was a 2011 supplemental draft pick out of the University of Georgia.
So far, the Vikings leadership has had little to say about the incident.
"Until I read everything, I don't want to comment on it," said Rick Spielman, Vikings general manager.
Spielman said the team handles player arrests on a case-by-case basis, and insists that the Vikings are not the only team that faces situations like these, though he did acknowledge the negative press could have damaging effects on the Vikings' efforts to secure a new stadium.
"We try to prevent those because it's important to what we are building here," he said.
King's attorney, Lee Wolfgram, told FOX 9 News that his client will likely spend Sunday in jail before his hearing in front of a judge on Monday; however, he says his client did not throw a single punch and instead "showed great restraint," saying what authorities have considered light-hearted ribbing was actually "racist in nature."
Wolfgram said all the facts will come out as the investigation continues.