Missouri high school football player charged with assault for hitting opponent with helmet

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A 17-year-old Missouri high school football player was charged with assault and faces up to a year in jail for allegedly ripping off another player's helmet during a game and hitting him in the head with it, giving him a concussion, reports the Associated Press.

Colin Byrd, a center for Platte County R-3 High School, was charged with misdemeanor assault for an Oct. 18 incident during a game against Winnetonka High School, Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said.

According to a probable cause statement, Byrd and other players were headed out of bounds on a kickoff return, and once out of bounds, Byrd twisted the opponent's helmet off and hit him in the head with it. Byrd was ejected from the game.

Byrd's lawyer, Anthony Bologna, said he was still investigating the incident, which he called "very unfortunate."

"Tempers were involved, and unfortunately it sounds like somebody got hurt," Bologna said.

"We haven't fully investigated, and he's not in a position to make a statement at this point," Bologna said.

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"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." According to the probable cause statement, Byrd told investigators that J.R.'s "helmet ended up in my hand and I just went back to throw it behind me and ended up hitting him.