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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Huntsville teen is recovering from multiple injuries after he said his group of friends were attacked on the Flint River.
Attorney Will League said 18-year-old Collins Nelson is suffering from an eye socket fracture, a broken nose, and will need dental work.
League said Nelson and roughly a dozen of his friends were celebrating a birthday Sunday by canoeing down the river.
It’s unclear what was said and what prompted the attack but League claims Nelson started a conversation with a man in his 20s.
League said the man began insulting the group and threatened to rape the girls in attendance.
He said the verbal altercation escalated, and the man ultimately left vowing to attack the group with his friends down the river.
Nelson said he and his friends and no choice but to ride down river.
He explained roughly a dozen men and women followed them down the river, ultimately wading in and attacking himself and his friends.
“My friends say they heard a smack and saw blood kind of go everywhere,” Nelson said.
“No one could help anyone because at the same time people were trying to defend themself. (sic)”
Nelson said the attack lasted for what felt like five minutes, before the group was able to escape and a good Samaritan called 911.
Huntsville Police Department spokesman Lt. Michael Johnson said four police reports have been filed.
Johnson previously said there were no arrests because the alleged actions were classified as a misdemeanor. It’s Huntsville police policy to not make an arrest for a misdemeanor unless officers witness the crime.
However, police later said the extent of the injuries to one of the teens involved could merit a felony offense. This comes after medical tests showed more injuries inflicted to one of the teens than first realized.
A police department spokesman said the case is still unfolding, and the victim will need to sign a warrant in order for an arrest to be made for that felony charge.
League said the family will be pursuing criminal warrants for the suspects and will be filing a civil suit for a punitive damages.
Nelson admitted some in the group were engaging in underage drinking but claims that was not a factor in the attack.