Van Hoosen basketball coach charged with assaulting fiancée, fleeing with infant

Former 7th grade boys basketball coach fired from RCS following arrest

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published December 18, 2020

 Christian Roberson

Christian Roberson

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ROCHESTER HILLS — A seventh grade basketball coach at Van Hoosen Middle School was fired by Rochester Community Schools after allegedly assaulting his fiancée and running off with their infant.

Christian Depaul Roberson, 31, of Orion Township, was arraigned Dec. 15 by Rochester Hills 52-3 District Court Magistrate Marie Soma on one count of assault with intent to do bodily harm less than murder or by stranglulation — a 10-year felony — and one count of aggravated domestic violence. At press time, Roberson was being held at the Oakland County Jail on a $300,000 bond. His next court date was scheduled for Dec. 22, after press time.

Deputies from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office say they responded to the 4700 block of Georgia Drive in Orion Township on a report of a severely injured woman at 6:59 p.m. Dec. 12.

When deputies arrived they discovered a 30-year-old woman from Orion Township semi-conscious and covered in blood on the neighbor’s porch.

The woman, who was at a neighbor’s house asking for help for her severe injuries, said her 3-month-old baby girl had been taken by the child’s father after she was attacked and beaten by him in the residence.

According to reports, the woman suffered multiple broken orbital and facial bones during the attack and was transported to a local hospital. She was later airlifted to the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor due to the severity of her injuries. At press time, the woman remained in critical condition, and detectives were unable to speak with her due to her injuries.

The infant — who was dropped off by the suspect at his mother’s residence — was found unharmed.

Soon after the incident, Roberson reportedly began posting on social media that he was remorseful and was suicidal. Deputies discovered he was driving in a black 2018 Cadillac XT5 and notified surrounding agencies to be on the lookout for him.

On Dec.14, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Team located and arrested Roberson — who deputies said has no prior criminal history — in Pontiac.

Roberson’s attorney, Charles Hayden, could not be reached for comment at press time. The incident remains under investigation.

Roberson, who owns Empire Basketball Training, coached seventh grade boys basketball at Van Hoosen Middle School in Rochester Hills.

RCS Superintendent Robert Shaner sent an email to parents Dec. 14, notifying them that the coach was “immediately terminated” upon the district learning he had been taken into custody by deputies.

Shaner noted in the email that the incident, which he said remains under investigation, “did not involve RCS students or staff members and did not occur on school grounds.”

In the email, Shaner said Rochester Community Schools continues to work collaboratively with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and “will not speculate during an ongoing investigation.”

Shaner said Rochester Community Schools is committed to providing “a safe, positive and supportive learning environment for every student.”

“We understand that some children may have seen a message on social media regarding the incident and/or may be having difficulty processing this disturbing information,” Shaner said in the email.

RCS crisis teams are available to provide the school community with resources and support, district officials said, and parents and guardians are encouraged to contact their school principal for assistance, if needed.

“Rochester Community Schools also urges families to encourage children to talk to a trusted adult if they see, hear or experience something that doesn’t seem right,” Shaner said in the email.

Information can also be reported anonymously using OK2SAY at www.michigan.gov/ok 2say.

While the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office proceeds with its investigation of the former basketball coach, Shaner said Jeffrey Howell — who he said is “an honored and respected Van Hoosen educator” — has agreed to help assist with the seventh and eighth grade boys basketball teams.

“As a longtime trusted teacher and coach, Mr. Howell will help our students continue to grow on and off the court,” Shaner said.

For student support systems and resources, families can reach out to their building administrator or use the Talk to RCS feature on the district’s website at www.rochester.k12.mi.us.

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