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Huntsville teen says he was attacked by man during trip with friends

WAAY 31 spoke to a Huntsville teen on Tuesday who says he was attacked while on a kayaking trip with his friends on Sunday.

Posted: Jun 4, 2019 4:55 PM
Updated: Jun 4, 2019 9:45 PM

WAAY 31 spoke to a Huntsville teen on Tuesday who says he was attacked while on a kayaking trip with his friends on Sunday.

One of the teens who was on the trip said they were on a kayaking trip on the Flint River, when a man started harassing his group of friends and saying vulgar things to the girls in the group.

Photo: Lesia Johnson

Collins Nelson, Photo: Lesia Johnson

WAAY 31 is told that same man told the group he and his friends would see them down the river, and when the teens got down the river, they witnessed a large group of 10 to 12 men, ranging in age from their twenties to mid-thirties, running down the banks. 

"They all proceeded to run into the water, and it was just chaos from there. Just flipping our kayaks, flip my kayak. Some man put me in a headlock and proceeded to just beat my face," said Collins Nelson, a teen whose eye socket was broken during the altercation.

Nelson said the other group started beating up the boys and girls in their group. However, those adults told Huntsville police the teenagers started the altercation.

Nelson says he was with a group of newly-graduated high school students, and they were kayaking to celebrate a friend's birthday when they say they were attacked.

Huntsville police said officers responded to a call of the fight along the Flint River, but both the teens and the adults they faced have conflicting stories about what happened.

One of the teenage girls who was part of this altercation said she was incredibly scared during the situation. Right now, police are investigating what happened. Police said the adults claim one of them was beat up by the teens and came back with his friends to retaliate.

Huntsville police said the teens told them some of them were drinking alcohol, and they had two coolers of alcohol with them. The teens WAAY 31 spoke to initially said they didn't drink, but later admitted some of them did drink and had beer with them when the incident happened.

"I don't believe that played a factor in this, because we never said anything to provoke them to do the things they did to us," said Nelson.

Nelson's attorney said his client plans on getting misdemeanor warrants for the group he says attacked them. If the teens get reevaluated by a doctor, Huntsville police said the charges could be upgraded.

WAAY 31 asked what Nelson's family is hoping to get out of taking legal action. Their attorney said they want the people responsible to face criminal charges. They also want Nelson's medical bills paid for and compensation.

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