Jyheem Rollins, 17, was arrested Friday by Jefferson County authorities since the incident occurred during Butler’s basketball game against Jefferson County High School. He was quickly released on a $1,500 bond.
Rollins did not respond to our requests for comment. His mother was upset last week by his decision to communicate with The Jail Report and tell his side of the story.
Rollins was suspended from school for 10 days for reportedly hitting adult volunteer Thomas Tate, affectionally known as “Scooter.” The player is off the team until next year and was supposed to return to school this Friday.
Scooter, who has been described as “developmentally disabled,” is well known around the school and considered the unofficial team manager for the Bulldogs. He was with the squad during their Jan. 30 loss at Jefferson County High School when a friend of Rollins recorded the junior athlete hitting Scooter with a belt in the locker room. The video was later posted online, which eventually drew the attention of administrators at the Augusta school.
In an interview with Rollins over Facebook Messenger, the teen said the incident was a joke and not an attack. Still, he was worried about being arrested.
“I didn’t assault anybody,” Rollins wrote. “Four soft hits can kill him? Y’all acting like I physically abused him.”
It was just a joke, Rollins stated.
“I was already playing with him,” the teen stated. “Then I told him to get a Powerade for me and he had my change so I wasn’t going to trip about that change. So he said ‘Alright, Knucklehead’ and he laughed and I laughed. And I just hit him four soft times with a soft belt. No abuse or none of that.”
Richmond County school officials said a criminal investigation was initiated by the RCBOE Police and, upon completion of the case file, the investigation was turned over to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. That led to the charges.