Many people in the CSRA are outraged over a brutal beating at Riverside Park in Columbia County. Ryan Meagher, 29, is out on bond charged with aggravated battery in the Memorial Day incident.
Investigators say this is one of the worst beatings they have seen in a long time. Friends and family members say that Colten Godsey is getting better after he was attacked. Investigators say the beating happened at a volleyball court at Riverside Park.
“The suspect drove up, got out of his vehicle, walked over, struck the victim, knocked him to the ground and then continued to wail on him, or beat him. At some point, he was unconscious and from our witness accounts, continued to receive blows,” says Captain Steve Morris.
Meagher was arrested and charged with battery on Tuesday. But on Thursday that charge was upgraded to aggravated battery after investigators re-interviewed the victim.
Morris says that the difference between battery and aggravated battery is the extent of the victim's injuries.
“It wasn't until Godsey went to the hospital, had cat scans and x-rays that it was determined he had multiple facial bone fractures as well as a head injury,” says Morris.
This isn't Meagher's first arrest. Back in 2006 he was charged with battery and reckless conduct after investigators say he threw his ex-girlfriend to the ground, pointed a gun at himself and threatened to pull the trigger.
Morris says the Riverside attack was unprovoked. That's why hundreds of people on Twitter and Facebook are getting behind Godsey by using the hashtag Colten — the support even coming from the Atlanta Braves Tomahawk Girls.
But there are two sides to this story… and some say that Godsey started the fight by bulling Meagher's younger brother.
“We would never encourage anyone to take matters into their own hands. In this case, it appears, based on the evidence, Meagher received a phone call from his younger brother and then done just that, took the matter into his own hands,” says Morris.
We reached out to Godsey. He and his family tell us they do not want to comment on the investigation. We also tried to make contact with Meagher at his home, but he wasn't home and his phone is disconnected.