Former Gaston County teacher/coach still hospitalized after alleged August assault

Former teacher and coach hospitalized after assault

BELMONT, N.C. (WBTV) - A well-known former teacher and coach from Gaston County is still in the hospital recovering from serious injuries sustained during an alleged assault that happened last month.

The alleged incident happened August 21 just after 12:30 a.m. on a side street near the intersection of Wilkinson Blvd. and Main Street in Belmont, according to Sgt. Aaron Black with the Belmont Police Department.

Black said that detectives believe a road rage situation led to a confrontation between Meredith Scruggs, a 70-year-old well-known coach from Gaston County, and 37-year-old Kyle Watson Gray.

Police said it’s unclear how the road rage situation began, but it ended with a physical altercation that led to Scruggs being sent to the hospital with serious injuries.

WBTV spoke to the former coach’s son, Matt Scruggs, in an interview Tuesday evening. He said he was notified of the incident just hours after it allegedly happened.

“That’s not a phone call you ever expect. I could just feel my heart drop,” said Matt Scruggs.

When asked about the alleged attack, the younger Scruggs noted that he doesn’t believe his father would have done anything to provoke violence.

“I know it would be out of my dad’s character to initiate any type of issue to lead Kyle to do what he’s done, so I don’t believe that my father would have done anything like that,” said Matt Scruggs.

He said his father suffered extensive body and head injuries during the alleged assault.

Gray was arrested and charged for assault inflicting serious bodily injury. He was placed in the Gaston County Jail under a $100,000 bond. Jail records show that he posted bond and was released from custody 10 days after his arrest.

Black said that Gray is known to have trained in mixed martial arts. Additionally, records from the Mecklenburg County Jail show that the suspect has also been arrested in Mecklenburg County. Jail records show he was charged with breaking and entering, assault with a deadly weapon and communicating threats in April of 2019.

WBTV reached out to Gray’s attorney, Brent Ratchford, for comment regarding the Gaston County allegations. Ratchford declined to comment for this story.

Gray is scheduled to appear in a Mecklenburg County courtroom in October.

“Kyle’s record speaks for itself. Unfortunately, he’s now attacked a prominent member of the community and he’s not gonna get away with it,” said Matt Scruggs.

He said his hope is that his father’s case against Scruggs goes to trial. He noted that his family would be disappointed if a plea deal were arranged.

The younger Scruggs noted that while his father still has a long road to recovery, his condition has improved.

“I know he had a great day today. He was able to sit up in a chair and he was smiling, so we’re thankful for that. He’s a fighter. He’s going to be okay. He’s gonna get through this,” said Matt Scruggs.

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