Former Dunbar High School player found guilty of felony assault against referee

A Montgomery County Juvenile Court judge found a former Dunbar High School football player guilty of a felony level assault charge.

Judge Helen Wallace released her decision Friday afternoon.

Video from last fall shows the player headbutting referee Scott Bistrek.

Bistrek said he suffered a concussion as a result.

However, the player’s attorney, Brock Schoenlein disagrees.

He told News Center 7 in a statement, “No one disputes that the head butt occurred, what we disputed at trial, and which we will now take to appeal, is whether or not it was probable that the minor would cause a concussion from head butting the referee, when their heads were already touching when the head Butt began. We don’t believe that the minor could have developed the force necessary to make a concussion probable from such a close distance,” Schoenlein said.

However, in the judge’s decision she said the player did cause Bistrek’s injuries. She said as a result of the player’s actions, Bistrek “suffered physical harm that involved temporary, substantial incapacity.”

The player’s sentencing is scheduled for next month.

Schoenlein said his client will be appealing the judge’s decision.

Meanwhile, Bistrek has been working all along to push lawmakers to pass Ohio House Bill 208, which would increase the penalty for assaulting a sports official.

“People might second think about attacking officials because they’re going to end up with a fifth degree felony right off the bat,” Bistrek said.

The legislation passed in the Ohio House last month.

As Bistrek waits for the Ohio Senate to take up the measure, he still has a lingering impact from the hit.

“More mental than anything,” Bistrek said. “I think it’s going to stick there until I’m done officiating.”

Molly Koweek

I am excited to move to Ohio for some warmer weather. That might sound odd, but I've spent the last four years in central Wisconsin working for WAOW. I co-anchor News Center 7 Saturday. During the weekdays you can catch my reports on News Center 7 at Noon, 5:00, 5:30, and 6:00.