The sheriff of a small town in Kentucky was arrested by his own deputies after allegedly punching a girl during a fight that erupted at a high school basketball game while he was assistant coaching.
Owsley County Sheriff Brent Lynch was arrested on Thursday morning over the incident that occurred on Dec. 3 and has had an active warrant out for his arrest since Tuesday of this week. He was charged with one count of assault in the fourth degree.
Kentucky State Police Trooper Matt Gayheart announced the charges on Thursday, noting that the warrant had been served after Lynch turned himself in. The defendant was subsequently detained in the Three Forks Regional Jail in Lee County, Ky. A search of jail records suggests he already made bail or has yet to be processed.
“On December 3, 2021, Troopers with Kentucky State Police, Post 13, Hazard, responded to Perry County Central High School in regards to an assault complaint that occurred during a girls’ high school basketball game,” the KSP said in a press release. “During an altercation between players during the game, it is alleged Mr. Lynch, who is also part of the coaching staff for Owsley County High School, assaulted a juvenile female.”
Video of the contretemps is hectic, chaotic and difficult to decipher.
In the footage, however, the fight is clearly precipitated by an on-court dispute over a loose ball situation and/or foul. Several members of each time quickly square up and devolve into a mass of squabbling individuals. Moments later, the man identified as Lynch comes running into the midst of the melee from off the court and jumps right in.
Here is another version of the video, which allegedly highlights when and where Lynch runs onto the court:
According to the Courier Journal, the defendant left the scene–by heading for a gym exit door.
”That fight was investigated by one of our troopers,” Gayheart said. “It was determined through that investigation that Owsley County Sheriff, Brent Lynch, had actually assualted a female during that altercation.”
Perry County Schools Superintendent Jonathan Jett described what led up to the sheriff’s alleged punch.
“On Friday, December 3, 2021 there was an altercation between the Perry Central Lady Commodores and the Owsley County lady Owls basketball teams,” he said in a statement. “The teams were separated immediately and one player from each team was ejected from the contest by the KHSAA basketball officials working the game.”
Additional suspensions have since resulted from the fracas–though the context in which they occurred has been disputed.
“Owsley County is fully complying with KHSAA’s recommendations.,” Owsley County School District Superintendent Dr. Tim Bobrowski said in a statement. “The Owsley County Varsity Girls’ Assistant Coach was suspended 1 game. Per KHSAA’s recommendations, both teams have suspended 4 student athletes for 2 games.”
The KHSAA, however, says that’s not true.
“It has been erroneously reported that the KHSAA was involved in recommendations regarding adult conduct at the recent Owsley County vs. Perry County Central girls basketball game due to a fight,” a lengthy statement from the organization begins. “Such reporting in inaccurate.”
— KHSAA Events (@khsaaevents) December 9, 2021
Lynch faces up to a year in jail over the assault charge.
”To constitute anything higher would have required a broken bone or a serious physical injury,” Gayheart noted, according to local CBS affiliate WYMT.
According to local NBC affiliate WLEX, the investigation is being led by KSP Trooper Adam Baker.
[image via Owsley County Sheriff’s Office]
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