A Platte County R-III High School football player has plead guilty to assaulting a Winnetonka High School player with a football helmet during a game in October 2013. Colin W. Byrd, 18, of Kansas City, plead guilty in Platte County Circuit Court and was sentenced to two years of supervised probation.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “What happened that day was not football. Nothing less than assault was committed on that field. If the defendant successfully completes probation, his record will be sealed. “
During an October 18 game between Platte County R-3 and Winnetonka, Byrd assaulted the victim by ripping off the victim’s helmet and striking him in the head with it. The assault occurred after a play in which Byrd and the victim ended up out of bounds.
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 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.
The victim suffered a significant injury resulting in a concussion. The victim has been cleared by the doctor to return to school but continues to remain under a doctor’s care
Immediately following the assault, the victim scored an 84 on a 0-125 concussion scale. A doctor indicated that lesser concussions score in the 20-30 range.
At the request of Zahnd’s office, Judge Dennis Eckold placed Byrd on probation and ordered him to fulfill the following special conditions of probation: successfully complete a 12-week anger management program, perform 100 hours of community service, pay restitution to the victim and write an apology letter to the victim.
Because Eckold suspended the imposition of Byrd’s sentence, his record will be sealed from the public if he successfully completes probation.
Zahnd said, “Our goal was not to burden this defendant with a criminal record that shadows him for the rest of his life. It was to impact his life for the betterment of himself and the community.”
The case was investigated by the Platte City Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nick Hinrichs.
The charge and probable cause statement are attached. If you need additional information, please feel free to contact our office’s media liaison, Jill Brockman.