Nathan Harris, a youth football coach in Utah, was arrested on Monday on investigation into second degree felony child abuse. During the fourth quarter of a tie game on Saturday, the 45-year-old coach was seen by spectators and caught on video giving an opposing player a concussion. As you can see from the video above, Harris and the boy collided and it appeared as though the coach clotheslined him.
“As the 13-year-old ran down, Mr. Harris stepped out and hit him with his forearm under his chin,” Utah police Sgt. Lance Smith said according to tan Associated Press report. “And then Mr. Harris stepped back and just stood there.”
The coach was ejected from the game but not arrested until Monday, after police had reviewed the video of the incident and determined he acted maliciously. Harris’ lawyer, Dean Zabriskie, says the collision was merely an accident and that police are relying on a low-quality video and the opinion of parents and fans from an opposing team.
“He never crosses the line between where the spectators would be and where the field of play is,” Zabriskie told Salt Lake City TV network KSL. “The young man that was involved in this is running toward the sideline. He breaches the sideline and there is a collision.
“It looks to us like (the witnesses) were on the other side of the field, at least 200 feet away, and of course representing the other team. It seems to me like a tempest in a teapot.”
The mother of the victim released the following statement to the media in the wake of Harris’ arrest.
“My son was running the ball out of bounds when out of nowhere the other team’s coach blindsided him and knocked him to the ground! The stands were instantly in a riot and our coaches stormed the field.”
The video seems pretty clear. It appears as though Harris intentionally leveled the kid, and it certainly doesn’t look like he was concerned for the boy’s well being after he was laying on the ground. Of all the things we have seen youth sports coaches do — like prevent a child from supporting breast cancer — this is one of the most disturbing.
H/T Prep RallyGoogle+