A southwest Iowa teenager will not face charges after he was involved in a fight at school last week during which another teen died. Following an investigation, Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber says 16-year-old Greg Teer used reasonable force to defend himself during the scuffle at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs.
“Greg Teer was legally justified in the force that was used,” Wilber says. “We will not be pursuing criminal charges against him with regard to this matter. I’ve spoken to Juvenile Court Services. The originally-filed assault causing serious injury charge will be dismissed.”
The boy with whom Teer was fighting, 17-year-old Dakota Escritt, fell and hit his head during the scuffle and died two days later. Wilber says from the evidence, it’s clear that Escritt was the one who initiated the fight and Teer tried to avoid it. “I want to make it very clear that I am not saying that Dakota deserved what he got,” Wilber says. “This was a horrible tragedy. Nobody intended for the ultimate result that happened here.”
Wilber says there’s no doubt, Escritt was the initial physical aggressor and that Teer tried three times to disengage and walk away from Escritt, until finally, he’d had enough and responded. “I’m not suggesting that Greg Teer is a good person or a bad person,” Wilber says. “I’m not suggesting that Dakota was a good person or a bad person. I’m suggesting that under these circumstances, it was clear that (Greg) was responding to what he believed he needed to do.”
Administrators with the Council Bluffs Community Schools have not yet decided what discipline Teer might have to face for fighting.