Alleged altercation at downtown Kansas City warming shelter leads to arrest


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Good intentions but lack of preparation have led to several issues for the Scott Eicke Warming Center in Bartle Hall.

Thursday night a scuffle amongst staff led to an arrest. 

“This is who put his hands on me. This is Sean O’Byrne,” Troy Robertson, a former volunteer, said in a video after the alleged altercation.

Just before 10 p.m. Thursday, Kansas City police responded to a call regarding a fight at Bartle Hall. The disturbance began when Downtown Council Director Sean O’Byrne tried to get longtime volunteer Troy Robertson to leave the warming center. Robertson said O’Byrne allegedly slammed him on a table and punched him in the mouth.

“I ain’t going nowhere. Like I said, that man should have never touched me, and I didn’t touch that man. That man shouldn’t have ever punch me in my mouth,” Robertson said in the video.

Police arrived and contacted other warming center personnel who told them Robertson was no longer welcome. Police then arrested him for trespassing.

In addition to Thursday night’s fight, volunteers inside the warming center said they’re overwhelmed. There were more than 450 people seeking help Thursday night, and only 17 volunteers at times.

However, Mayor Quinton Lucas said he isn’t concerned.

“I’m not. I’m not. I think if you look at any homeless shelter in Kansas City, there are sometimes altercations,” Lucas said.

He said they have been successful in keeping Kansas Citians alive and off the streets.

“We just got through two weeks of awful weather, and what we are not doing is having people freeze to death on the streets,” he said.



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