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Niles coach sucker punches parent during youth flag football game

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 6:29 PM EDT
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NILES, Mich. (WNDU) - Niles Police are investigating after a video shows a sports coach sucker punching a parent in the face during a youth flag football game.

According to a police report, it happened on Saturday afternoon at Midwest Performance Academy in Niles, also known as the Sports Warehouse on Terminal Road.

The video was posted online by a parent following the alleged assault.

Police say it all started when a coach walked onto the field and became irate with a call made by an official during a youth flag football game.

As the man was being escorted off the field, he approached a parent on the sidelines, looked him right in the eye seconds before cocking back his right arm, and delivering a blow to the parent’s face dropping him to the ground.

Moments after, you can see several parents and coaches rushed on to the field to break up the altercation. A child in the video can also be heard crying in the background.

Niles Police Captain Kevin Kosten says the parent who was punched has since contacted Niles Police and charges may be on the way.

“The victim, the person who got punched, came to the police department to report that he was assaulted and apparently the coach didn’t like how this spectator was looking at him. He referenced that may be he was smiling at the coach and so this coach just happened to punch him, sucker punch him, which to me means punch him in the face. There’s definitely a possibility that he could be charged with assault and battery. Some of that will certainly be up to the victim but assault and battery would be an appropriate charge in this case,” Kosten says.

Ed Salvagni, a parent who posted the video, says he pulled his son out of Midwest Performance Academy one before the incident after a similar encounter with his son’s team.

“He wasn’t the only bad coach there, there was others. That’s why I pulled out because I just saw it,” Salvagni says.

Salvagni says he posted the video to make sure the coach in question is held accountable.

“We are all passionate. I’ve been known to be fiery as a baseball coach with youth kids but you have to have a level of restraint. You can’t be that amped up to where you would assault a parent, or a bystander, anybody in front of children,” Salvagni says.

Niles Police is looking into the incident. Kosten says charges expected to be filed once police can positively identify the coach involved.

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