PROVO — BYU football recruit Charles West, a speedy offensive player of the year in District 7-6A at Coppell High School near Dallas, could be facing felony assault charges.
The incident, which allegedly took place at his home before he signed a letter of intent to play for the Cougars, led to his arrest at school by Coppell police Feb. 6, two days after West signed with BYU.
West has been accused of assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony, and possession of marijuana, a class B misdemeanor. His arrest stems from a Jan. 28 incident in which police received a 911 call about a disturbance in a Coppell neighborhood.
Police arrived at a home near the 400 block of Shadowcrest Lane where a woman had suffered “small lacerations” with a knife, according to Sgt. Sammy Lujan of the Coppell Police Department.
Investigators say West assaulted the woman with a knife that was recovered from the scene, Lujan said.
The woman, who Lujan said had been contacted through “a website where she advertises for services that entail foot fetishes and dominatrix activities,” had been dropped off at the home where a confrontation occurred regarding the woman’s payment.
“I believe that was the case, that (West) didn’t want to pay, and I believe he decided that was the only way he thought he could get his services,” Lujan said.
West was arrested at Coppell High School on a warrant Feb. 6 and booked into an area jail. Information about whether West had posted bail was not available Thursday.
The second-degree felony charge carries a potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, Lujan said.
No other arrests were made in connection with the incident.
According to sources close to the West family, BYU coaches — in particular wide receiver coach Guy Holliday — were informed about West’s legal issues the day he was taken into custody and have been in constant contact with West.
The matter has been forwarded to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.
West has retained attorney Hunt Bonneau in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“When someone is even accused of a crime, it is critical to allow the justice system to play its role in separating facts from mere accusations,” Bonneau said.
“As much as Charles would like to speak about his current circumstances, he has agreed with my advice to continue cooperating with law enforcement authorities and allow our justice system to take its due course.”
West initiated the call to Coppell police on the day in question because he felt threatened, family members said.
Added Bonneau: “At the right time, when the facts and evidence are analyzed in the right forum, it will be evident that they do not support the accusations that have been brought against Charles.
“We want to thank the Coppell police for their cooperation and continued pursuit to get to the bottom of all the facts and evidence in this matter. Also to the BYU coaching staff and administration for their love and support for Charles as he goes through this process.”
Contributing: Jeff Call, Cleon Wall
Dick Harmon, Deseret News sports columnist, can be found on Twitter as Harmonwrites and can be contacted at [email protected].