Holy Cross student-athlete faces second degree battery charge

Holy Cross students arrested after melee on Bourbon St.
Updated: Oct. 9, 2017 at 10:16 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A Holy Cross student, credited with the game-winning play Friday, is now sitting behind bars. Police say the 18-year-old is charged with battery for knocking out a man on Bourbon Street early Sunday morning.

Rhett Michael Weidenbacher caught a two-point conversion, Friday night, securing a win for Holy Cross. Less than 48 hours later, he was posing for a mug shot.

His coach had little to say about the incident, but police tell Fox 8 they arrested Weidenbacher and another student-athlete, Christopher Collett, early Sunday morning.

This, after a fight near at Iberville St. and Bourbon St., just outside of Mango Daquiri.

Officers say Weidenbacher hit another man with a closed fist, causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head on the cement curb.

Now, he's facing second degree battery charges.

"Second degree battery is a battery that causes a great physical harm or unconsciousness of the victim," said Fox 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti.

It turns out, it's not Weidenbacher's first time, either.

He was placed in a diversion program just days earlier after similar charges were filed against him in May.

"I think the diversion program, for him, on that first one is out the window with this fact situation," said Fox 8 Legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

Raspanti says even though Weidenbacher's previous charges don't amount to a prior conviction, he says prosecutors can still bring them up if they move to prosecute this case.

Plus, as an 18-year-old, Weidenbacher could face serious time behind bars, especially if the victim takes a turn for the worst.

"Sadly, I think the DA is waiting to see how this victim turns out because if he goes bad and ends up passing away, this could end up being a manslaughter," said Raspanti.

Raspanti adds, with the current charges, Weidenbacher could face up to eight years in jail.

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