Charges upgraded against Flint basketball coach accused of assaulting referee

Keyon Menifield
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PADUCAH, Ky. (WJRT) (4/16/2019) - An AAU basketball coach from Flint is facing stiffer charges after police say he assaulted a referee during a tournament in Kentucky earlier this month.

Keyon Menifield, 40, is now facing felony charges for the April 6 assault on 60-year-old Kenny Culp of Paducah, Kentucky.

Menifield was in Kentucky coaching a Flint-area basketball team whent he assault happened around 10:45 p.m. April 6.

The McCracken County Sheriff's Office in Kentucky says Menifield and Culp had a verbal disagreement. Culp turned to walk away when Menifield threw a punch and knocked him unconscious.

Menifield was gone when police arrived, but officers located him at his hotel in Paducah, Kentucky, and arrested him. He initially was charged with fourth-degree assault on a sports official based on Culp's preliminary medical information.

Hours later, police learned that Culp's injuries were more serious than originally thought after a more thorough medical evaluation. Culp's niece, KaSondra Barnett, told the Associated Press on April 8 that he was being treated for a broken collarbone, a crack in his sinus cavity and a concussion.

The McCracken County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office issued felony charges against Menifield and he was named in an arrest warrant on April 8.

By then, Menifield had returned to Michigan with the team. Kentucky authorities worked with Flint-area police to track him down about the new charges, but they could not find him.

Menifield returned to Paducah on Tuesday for a court hearing related to his original charge. He was arrested there on a felony second-degree assault charge and held on $15,000 bond.

The McCracken County Sheriff's Office says Menifield has previous convictions for assault and drug trafficking unrelated to the assault charge. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.