Two men were arrested following an altercation about 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, which occurred during a youth football practice at Duncan Creek Park in Dacula.
William Brent Voyles, 43, was arrested and charged with battery. Voyles has been a head coach for more than 15 years with the Mill Creek Athletic Association, having “coached every age group from age six through eighth grade,” according to a Facebook post from the eighth grade Mill Creek Hawks Football page.
Kelsey Alexander Griffin, 27, a former coach at Mill Creek High School who witnesses at the scene identified as “one of the coaches,” was found to have an outstanding warrant from the Auburn Police Department for failure to appear on a traffic charge. Auburn PD confirmed the warrant was valid, and the Gwinnett County officers dispatched to the scene of the incident placed Griffin under arrest.
Both were booked into the Gwinnett County jail on Thursday night and released early Friday morning, each on $1,300 bonds.
According to Griffin’s jail record, he was also charged with simple battery.
According to incident reports filed by the Gwinnett County Police Department and obtained by the North Gwinnett Voice, witnesses reported a group of “teenagers hanging around the bleachers” during an eighth grade football team’s practice. One witness said the group was there to fight Voyles, and he overheard one of the young men say, “Call (name withheld) to bring the shotgun.”
A 19-year-old victim told officers he and his friends had gotten into a verbal altercation earlier in the day when some of the coaches complained to them about their reckless driving in the park. He stated his friends wanted to “pursue the issue, but he convinced them to ignore it and enjoy the day at the park,” according to the incident report. The victim stated “they eventually went down to the football field to watch the Mill Creek football team play,” noting most of them had graduated from Mill Creek High School.
Voyles also told the responding officer the teens had been driving recklessly through the park earlier in the day, and he felt the children were in danger. Voyles said when he saw the older teens in the bleachers, he told them they were not allowed to be there, and he was going to call the police. Voyles stated the group started to run away, and he chased after them, saying he was going to lock them in and they would have to wait for law enforcement. Voyles said one of the teens “swung at him and he avoided it and put him in a chokehold,” according to the incident report. Voyles said he hung onto the teen until police arrived. Voyles stated that Griffin put another teen “in an armbar and held him down until police arrived,” according to the incident report.
The teens stated they were asked to leave and were trying to do so. Another witness said she saw Voyles tell the teenagers to leave. She added that the teenagers started to run and jump the fence to leave the football field, and she saw Voyles chase after them. The arresting officer noted that, given the young men were leaving the scene and Voyles chased after them, he deemed Voyles to be the “primary aggressor to this incident” and placed him under arrest.
According to the incident report, one of the victims sustained visible superficial wounds. Another one of the young men stated at the beginning of his interview with police that he did not have injuries but later stated he had knee pain. No one at the scene required medical attention.