A high school basketball player in Iowa is facing criminal charges after police say he used a post-game handshake line to punch out an opposing player.
Carter Prenosil, 17, was arrested after the violence broke out at the end of Tuesday’s game between the Carlisle and Nevada community school districts. As the two teams shook hands, police say Mr Prenosil, who plays for Carlisle, threw an “unwarranted punch” at Nevada player Ty Dittmer, first in the stomach and then in the face.
The whole incident was caught in a video, which quickly went viral.
“The whole gym went crazy,” Carlisle student Adam Olinger told KCCI. “No one knew what to do or nothing. And the Nevada guy was out for a good couple minutes. You could tell something was definitely wrong with him.”
Mr Dittmer was knocked unconscious by the blows, and a brawl subsequently broke out between his team and Mr Prenosil’s.
Police say Mr Prenosil has been charged with “willful injury-causing serious injury,” a felony. He was booked at Warren County Jail, but was later released on a $10,000 bond.
“It was determined through the initial investigation that a player of the Carlisle Community School District, without provocation, struck a player of the Nevada Community School District team at the end of the game,” the Carlisle Police Department said in a statement. “As a result of the assault, the victim sustained a loss of consciousness, injuries to his mouth and immediately received medical care.”
The statement added that Mr Prenosil has not been convicted, and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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School officials rushed to condemn the violence.
“This is without question an unfortunate incident that is not representative of the school culture that exists in Carlisle Community School District,” Carlisle Superintendent Bryce Amos said in a statement. “I want to make it clear that this type of conduct is not tolerated at Carlisle CSD.”
Nevada’s superintendent, Dr Steve Gray, said in his own statement that “fortunately, it sounds like our student-athlete is going to be alright.”
It is not completely clear what caused the fight, though some students have said the two players had previously insulted each other.
“He said something during the game that Carter didn’t like, so at the end Carter went up and finished it,” Carlisle student JayJay Noring told KCCI. “Which was a little way too beyond if you ask me. He didn’t have to go that far.”