MILLSAP, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A high school football player in Millsap, west of Fort Worth, is charged with assault in the beating of a deaf classmate the night of the town’s homecoming.
At a sleepover that night, 18-year-old Trent Irwin thought he was among friends.
They woke him slapping his face, lying on top of him, and shining light in his eyes.
“Stop. Go to bed, dudes,” he said, unable to hear their laughter.
Trent uses cochlear implants to hear.
When he removes his processors at night, he’s at his most vulnerable.
“I can’t hear what’s going on. Just completely – no sound,” he told CBS 11 in an interview.
“He’s being struck very hard and there was certainly some disorientation,” said his father, Jeremy Irwin.
His family provided us with cell phone videos taken the night of the assault. They cut off with a shot of Trent standing and walking away. But his family says, the abuse escalated from there.
“I’m furious. I’m outraged,” said Jeremy.
According to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, witnesses report Trent charged at 17-year-old Austin Gonzalez, who then body-slammed Trent and punched him in the face two to three times.
One final video clip taken that night shows Trent on the floor with blood streaming down his face.
Two weeks later, Trent is still making trips to the hospital to treat repeated nosebleeds and better understand the extend of his injuries.
On Thursday, Oct. 7, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office arrested Gonzalez.
Millsap ISD, where Gonzalez and others who attended the sleepover are football players, released a statement saying, “District administration is aware of recent bullying allegations and is working with local law enforcement to actively investigate the matter.”
Trent has yet to return to campus.
“I don’t feel comfortable being around my school right now. Its not safe for me,” he said.
Community members have rallied to support him, but his family says what they want is justice.
“I want to see these boys criminally punished, like they deserve to be. Because they’re a pack of animals. If you question that, watch the videos. They’re out there. Like a pack of wolves,” said Jeremy.
An attorney for the family says there are adults who need to be held accountable, too, including the owner of the home where the assault took place, who works as a teacher for the district.