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CCSO Upgrades Charge in Riverside Park Attack


A Memorial Day attack at Riverside Park in Evans left an Augusta man with broken cheek bones and a broken nose, and his friends are saying his attacker got off with a light charge and only a few hours in jail.

Columbia County authorities originally charged 29-year-old Ryan Meagher (left) with battery in connection with the violent attack on 22-year-old Jeff Colten Godsey (pictured at right before and after the attack).

Sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said the case was reviewed and Meagher was re-arrested Wednesday night for aggravated battery. Bond was set at $25,100.

Meagher, of Augusta, told The Jail Report earlier Wednesday that he regrets the assault. But he argues that he was defending his little brother from Godsey and his friends, who he claims assaulted his little brother at a recent party. Meagher said his brother was not seriously injured in the party assault but the same group threatened to harm his brother again on Monday night at the park’s volleyball court.

“I really do feel bad about it (the Riverside assault). There is nothing I can do about it now,” he said. “I really shouldn’t have been there at all.”

According to the victim and witnesses, Meagher came to the park about 10:30 p.m. Monday, pushed Godsey down on the sand and starting beating on him, continuing even after the victim was knocked unconscious.

A Facebook post by friends of Godsey complains that Meagher only spent a few hours in jail and got off light.

“What is wrong with Columbia County?” said Patti Cornette. “Both cheek bones broke and a nose broke and the attacker gets out of jail in two hours?”

Jail records show he spent about three and a half hours in jail before his release on $2,600 bond. It was not immediately clear whether he would make bond on the upgraded charge after his second arrest.

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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.


  1. Really? This is how one defends a family member from an incident at a ” recent party”? Was this the same condition of the “brother”? What happened to asking questions first ? This is way beyond defending someone after the fact ! This guy is a danger to society and could use anger management classes in ADDITION to jail time !

  2. Maybe people should consider the fact that the little brother was also hospitalized after the first time he had been jumped from behind and left in a field by the bully and other attackers but was lucky that he was not hospitalized the second. So if you ask me it may have been that he got a taste of his own medicine.

  3. Actually im really good friends with Colten and he is probably one of the sweetest guys I know. He doesnt deserve any of this, thank you! He had nothing to do with Cory getting “jumped and hospitalized” maybe Cory should start defending his self before he gets his MMA brother to fight for him.. They took the flight above and beyond, and now they need to pay the price, serve jail time, and cover his hosptial bills!

  4. Ryan’s a good man… Good father…. And good friend…. I think there’s a lot more to this story than is being told…. I’ve known Ryan for over 10 yrs… Never seen any aggressive nature about him at all… Say what you want but the whole story isn’t being told

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