Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd says Colin W. Byrd, 17, of Kansas City, was charged on November 19 with misdemeanor assault.
According to court documents, Byrd allegedly ripped off the victim’s helmet and struck him in the head with it.
The alleged assault occurred after a play in which Byrd and the victim ended up out of bounds. Byrd told authorities he did not intentionally throw the helmet at the other player and did not mean to hurt him.
“Football players consent to physical contact and the possibility of injury every time they walk onto the field,” Zahnd said.
“And even conduct that draws a penalty is almost never criminal. In this case, however, we allege what happened that night was not football.”
An official and a Winnetonka school official who both saw the play told authorities they believed Byrd intentionally hit the victim with the helmet. Byrd’s conduct drew a flag, and he was ejected from the game. The official told investigators he had been officiating football games for more than 20 years and had never seen anything like it.
The victim suffered a significant injury resulting in a concussion and remains under a doctor’s care. The victim has not been cleared by the doctor to return to school due to ongoing nausea, dizziness, memory loss, and other symptoms. The victim scored an 84 on a 0-125 concussion scale. A doctor indicated that lesser concussions score in the 20-30 range.
The school official said he believed Byrd had the opportunity to simply drop the helmet but appeared to be “angry and frustrated” when he intentionally struck the victim with the helmet.
If convicted, Byrd could receive probation or face a maximum of one year in the Platte County Jail. A summons will be issued to Byrd and a court date will be set at that time.