Denison Police have opened an aggravated assault investigation after a 25-year-old man said he was beaten by a group of acquaintances as they argued over a basketball game on Monday night.

Lt. Mike Eppler said the incident happened shortly before 11:45 p.m. at a park near the intersection of Martin Luther King Street and North Scullin Avenue. Eppler said the victim told officers he and at least four other men, whom he knew, were playing a pickup game near the park, when the others accused him of playing rough and the ensuing argument became violent.

“It kind of started when one guy said the victim was throwing elbows in the basketball game,” Eppler said, reading from the department’s incident report. “It did say there were a couple guys there (at the park) who aren’t usually there and that they did participate.”

The victim told police at least one of the men attempted to punch him before he was taken to the ground by another member of the group and was repeatedly kicked in the face and head, Eppler said.

“He went in a private vehicle out to the hospital,” Eppler said of the victim. “He’s got some injuries, some broken facial bones.”

The Denison Police lieutenant said investigators are searching for at least four male suspects and believe the men are Denison residents. Eppler said if caught, the men could be charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

“If somebody sees trouble starting, they need to call the police and let us know what’s going on,” Eppler said. “We can respond and try to remedy the situation quickly.”