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Winona residents started their own version of a Vikings-Packers border battle early Sunday that left one man seriously injured.

Police were called shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday to reports of a street brawl involving as many as 50 or 60 people in the middle of Franklin Street near King Street, according to deputy police chief Tom Williams.

The crowd scattered when police arrived, leaving a 21-year-old man lying in the street, his face bleeding. He was transported to Winona Health by ambulance, then to St. Marys in Rochester by helicopter with a possible fractured skull.

A witness told police that about 10 friends were gathered on a porch near Franklin and King streets, bantering with each other about the relative merits and talents of the Packers and Vikings teams, Williams said. A group of people walking on the opposite side of Franklin Street overheard the banter and offered comments of their own.

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The exchange grew heated, the language became foul and the pedestrians stepped into the street, Williams said. The group on the porch responds in kind, trooping across the boulevard and into the street, where the verbal confrontation soon became physical.

The witness told police he saw three or four people punching and kicking a man on the ground who was lying in the fetal position with his arms wrapped around his head. The witness said he attempted to intervene, at which point the police arrived and everyone ran away, Williams said.

Police have not released the identity of the victim, but said so far he remembers nothing of the incident.

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(8) comments

friend

I am EXTREMELY upset about this! I hope my friend can get JUSTICE for what he went through! I hope the police take this more seriously!

friend

I'm EXTREMELY upset about this. I think the police should find these people and my friend should receive JUSTICE for what he went through!

Another aunt

Thanks to everyone who has expressed concern and prayers, and to the staff at the hospitals who have been very kind and understanding. Also a very special thank you to the Winona Police Department for taking this matter very seriously. All of your efforts are appreciated. Keep those prayers coming!

cousin

Praying for my cousin. The article says possible skull fracture, and there were skull fractures. He was airlifted to Rochester and is still in ICU. I want to know what the world is coming to? He is a good kid and would never hurt a soul. I hope they catch the people that did this to him. They need help.

vikings1971

sorry about your nephew I hope he pulls out of it there is no reason for the violence for anything and its only football but some fans seem to take it too far
praying for him

cousin

Thanks for your support. We really appreciate the prayers!

aunt

OF COURSE the victim does not remember anything, he is in the ICU in Rochester. They are keeping him sedated due to VERY SERIOUS injuries he sustained in this incident. Whatever animals kicked this young man, while he lay in the fetal position should be arrested. They have changed this young mans life forever...

aunt

My nephew is the one that was seriously injured.. And NO he cant remember any of the incident because he is in the ICU in Rochester! The rest of those at the party should be brought in, questioned and arrested. The attackers have changed this young man's life forever. If someone is laying in the fetal position, but is still being kicked.. seriously people. Are you animals or human? The police department needs to do much more than just reporting this incident.

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