West BloomfieldOctober 11, 2012
Lakers football player off team after alleged assault
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
A recent confrontation between the West Bloomfield Lakers and Stoney Creek Cougars high school football teams reportedly ended in a Lakers football player assaulting the opposing team’s assistant coach, according to police.
The incident occurred at the end of the Lakers’ Oct. 5 football game at Stoney Creek High School in Rochester Hills. The Cougars won that game 50-28.
According to Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Mike Johnson, substation commander for Rochester Hills, the alleged assault took place at around 9:50 p.m. He said there was somewhat of a disagreement between coaches and some shouting back and forth from both teams.
That’s when a 16-year-old Lakers football player reportedly approached a 66-year-old Stoney Creek assistant coach and punched him in the jaw, knocking him down.
Police said more than 10 eyewitnesses reportedly observed the incident. “The 16-year-old went and walked away from the assault and attempted to hide his identify by taking off his football jersey,” Johnson added.
According to Johnson, Rochester police and Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies took the teen into custody, brought him to the Rochester Police Department and interviewed him in the presence of his parents. The teen was then released to his parents, Johnson said.
Johnson said the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office has since approved a petition for assault and battery, adding that the suspect will be scheduled in Oakland County Probate Court as a juvenile.
West Bloomfield School District Superintendent Gerald Hill called the incident “very unfortunate” and a poor decision on the student’s part to reportedly insert himself in a discussion between coaches. Hill declined to name the student.
“The other players on the team and our coaches actually remained calm and were behaving themselves appropriate to the situation,” Hill said.
“One of the things that all coaches try to stress with their players is sportsmanship, giving 100 percent effort and respect for the fellow players, coaches and the game of football. And the action that (happened) at the end of the game violated those expectations.”
Hill said the student has been suspended pending a full investigation, which was ongoing at press time. “Appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken. Other than that, I’m not at liberty to comment on the specifics,” he said.
According to Hill, an assistant coach was also dismissed from the Lakers football team in the days following the reported attack. Hill said it was unrelated to the action taken on the field that night.
Coach Ron Bellamy could not be reached for comment, and Athletic Director Pat Watson declined to comment.