A North Platte man is facing a felony charge after he allegedly tried to stop a dispute between two teenagers, and ended up assaulting them.
On April 22, at around 7:26 p.m., North Platte police responded to a disturbance on the playground at Washington Elementary School, 600 West Third Street.
Officers arrived and met with several people. It was reported that a 15-year-old male and a 16-year-old male were playing basketball when they got into a verbal disagreement with some other youth on the playground.
Investigator John Deal says witnesses reported that 44-year-old Nathan Smith was across the street and decided to break up the argument, which led to an argument between Smith and the two ballers.
Witnesses say Smith grabbed of the males by the shirt and pushed him to the ground. In the meantime, Deal says two adult females came from across the street and pulled Smith away.
During the melee, one of the females stated that she was kicked by one of the juveniles. This allegedly upset Smith who removed his belt and struck one of the teens in the chest with it.
Deal says one of the male juveniles had a visible bruise in the shape of a belt buckle on his chest, and officers recovered the belt and the buckle from the scene.
Smith was placed under arrest and charged with felony 2nd-degree assault.
According to Deal, both juveniles sustained cuts and scrapes but were not seriously injured.
Deal said there were several different accounts of what happened, and the investigation is ongoing.