Byrd pleads guilty to assaulting player during high school football game

PLATTE CITY, Mo. — A Platte County high school football player has pled guilty to assaulting a Winnetonka High School football player with a helmet, resulting in a significant injury, during an October 2013 game.

During an October 18, 2013 varsity football game between Platte County R-3 and Winnetonka, Colin W. Byrd, 18, of Kansas City assaulted 17-year-old Jake Rosebaugh, a player on the opposing team, by ripping off Rosebaugh’s helmet and striking him in the head with it following a play in which both players ended up out-of-bounds.

School officials from both high schools witnessed the assault and told authorities they believed the incident was intentional. They said Byrd had the opportunity to simply drop the helmet, but instead acted out in anger and frustration. As a result Byrd was immediately ejected from the game. One official said he had been officiating football games for over 20 years, and had never seen anything like what happened.

“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,” said Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd in a news release.

On Tuesday, Byrd pleaded guilty to third-degree assault in Platte County Circuit Court and was sentenced to two years of supervised probation. In addition to probation he received an order to fulfil 12 weeks’ worth of anger management classes and 100 hours of community service. He was also ordered to write Rosebaugh a formal apology letter and to pay him restitution.

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The assault gave Rosebaugh a significant injury which resulted in a severe concussion. Immediately after the assault, he was tested by a doctor and scored an 84 on a 0-125 concussion scale.  The doctor indicated that with a lesser concussion, the expected range would be between 20 and 30. Rosebaugh’s father says his son now suffers from depression and anxiety as a result of the injury.

“This was very unsportsmanlike conduct that took place. He suffered a level three concussion. Level four is like your head going thru a windshield,” said Curtis Rosebaugh, the victim’s father.

Curtis Rosebaugh says his son missed three and a half months of school.

On Tuesday, Byrd left court after reading an apology to Rosebaugh saying he never intended anything to happen to him, and he wished him the best of luck.

“I’m a kid too, so I don’t think he should do any jail time, but definitely community service and anger management,” said Jake Rosebaugh about Byrd’s sentence.

Because the court suspended the imposition of Byrd’s sentence, his record will be sealed from the public if he successfully completes probation.

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