Local high school football player charged with assaulting another local player during game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An area high school football player has been charged with assault after allegedly hitting another player in the head with a helmet.

Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd has charged Platte County R-III High School player Colin W. Byrd, 17, of Kansas City, with assault after he allegedly ripped off another player's helmet and hit him in the head with it.

The victim, who is not being named because he's a minor, is a student at Winnetonka High School.

The alleged incident happened after a play during a game between the two schools back in October.  

According to court documents, a game official and a Winnetonka school official saw the incident and later told authorities they believed Byrd intentionally hit the victim. Byrd was ejected from the game.

The victim sustained a concussion and remains under doctor care. He continues to have ongoing nausea, dizziness, and memory loss, according to the release.

"He still has not been able to return to school. He is still facing symptoms of nausea, headaches and dizziness. We are hopeful he will recover although his doctor says this is a significant injury, it is a very severe concussion," Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said.

To put it in perspective, doctors say on a scale from zero to 125, his concussion was an 84; most are in the 20-30 range.

Platte County R-III released a statement Tuesday that reads:

Platte County R-3 School District takes the responsibility of leadership and sportsmanship very seriously. We have high expectations for all students, teachers, coaches and fans regarding responsible personal behavior at all extra-curricular activities.

"Regardless of the allegations and eventual findings, this should serve as a possible learning opportunity for all of our young people," said Superintendent Dr. Mike Reik. "My primary concern is for both of the student-athletes involved and their personal well-being, Secondly, it would be my hope that an isolated incident not be allowed to overshadow the systemic focus on leadership and character in our extra and co-curricular activities," Reik continued.

Platte County School District has, and continues to cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies on this issue and because of that, and due to the fact it is a student matter, we are limited on the information that we can provide. However, we can confirm that we have followed all district policy and game contest rules and procedures set forth by MSHSAA.

Platte County R-3 will continue to prioritize student, staff and guests' safety in our buildings, competitions and extended classrooms.

"We know that high school football players consent to a level of violence and physical contact as a part of the game, but our allegation in this case was that this was not part of the game of football," Zahnd said.

Byrd faces probation or up to a year in the Platte Co. Jail.

A court date has not been set.

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