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Juneau police complete preliminary investigation of "knockout coach"

Jurisdiction moves to Gold Beach, Ore. police

Posted: April 9, 2013 - 12:03am
TMHS head coach Bill Byouer walks behind the Falcons' huddle before a game against Kodiak last season.  Juneau Empire File
Juneau Empire File
TMHS head coach Bill Byouer walks behind the Falcons' huddle before a game against Kodiak last season.

Juneau police have completed a preliminary investigation into the report of a Thunder Mountain High School football player being knocked unconscious by a coach while boxing at a team camp in Oregon last July.

Since the incident happened within the jurisdiction of the Gold Beach, Ore., police department, that department has assumed responsibility for the case and JPD has turned over its findings. JPD will assist in the investigation.

“Anything that we release, obviously, is going to have to be through them because it is their investigation now,” said Juneau police Sgt. Chris Burke. “We have been on the phone throughout the day talking to them about the case.”

Burke said the video was brought to the attention of the JPD by one of the TMHS administrators.

Authorities have not said how administrators found out about the video.

Any charges will fall under Oregon laws. The Gold Beach Police Department had not returned calls seeking comment by press time.

Two Juneau School District employees are on administrative leave as a result of the initial investigation.

Floyd Dryden math teacher John Wahl, who was an adult supervisor and coach during the football camp trip, was not on campus and did not return phone calls today. Wahl was identified in the video knocking out an incoming freshman athlete.

Falcons’ head coach Bill Byouer, a Floyd Dryden P.E. teacher, said Friday he had not heard of the video. Byouer was in charge of the team at the camp and was not found on campus today. Byouer has hung up on Juneau Empire reporters when contacted by phone.

The Thunder Mountain High School football team continues weekly weight training and preparations for the season.

The TMHS football web site is currently reminding players that airfare funds for Camp Rilea will be collected in the TMHS commons on Friday and all airfare checks for the camp are due by Monday.

Camp Rilea, outside Astoria, Ore., will be the site of the 2013 team camp on July 19-25.

Juneau School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich was in meetings Monday but did attempt a return phone call to the Juneau Empire.

Gelbrich stated in a press release that the district was deeply concerned that the incident went unreported for nine months.

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