VAN METER — A jury has acquitted a former central Iowa coach and trainer who was accused of assaulting one in all a gaggle of scholars attempting to toilet-paper his home.
The six-member jury on Friday discovered Joel Bartz not responsible of misdemeanor assault and never responsible of fifth-degree felony mischief.
Bartz was employed as a science trainer at Van Meter Center College and highschool sports activities coach when he stopped a truck carrying a gaggle of teenagers close to his house round 10 p.m. on Sept. 17. Police alleged that when one of many college students bought out of the truck and approached the trainer, Bartz grabbed the coed, pulled him down and punched him within the again and head, ripping the coed’s shirt within the course of.
Bartz and his attorneys, Todd Miler and Nicholas Lombardi, argued at trial that his actions had been in self-defense. Lombardi mentioned the trial included testimony from a protection skilled who concluded the coed “had his fingers up and in a combating place earlier than Joel did something.”
“He’s an incredible man and the decision is an accurate verdict,” Lombardi mentioned. “It’s very unlucky that we needed to go right through a trial with the intention to get him discovered not responsible however we did and I’m pleased with the end result.”
The district positioned Bartz, who additionally helped coach highschool soccer and basketball groups, on depart after his October 2020 arrest. Bartz resigned his instructing and training positions earlier this yr, Van Meter Superintendent Deron Durflinger mentioned Monday.
“We’re glad that each one events concerned have some closure to the scenario,” Durflinger mentioned.