Man charged with punching son's coach
An angry New Jersey father who thought his son was not getting enough playing time allegedly knocked a youth football coach unconscious.
Mario Romano of Colts Neck, who also is vice president of football operations in the town’s Pop Warner league, has been charged with assault at a youth sports event in the presence of juveniles under 16, the Asbury Park Press reported. Romano was arrested Sunday at Colts Neck High School.
Police said Romano struck Van Ruitenbeek, knocking him out for about half an hour. Romano’s attorney, Raymond Santiago, contended he acted in self-defense.
At least one witness suggested Van Ruitenbeek shared the blame. Rosemarie Young, the head coach in the PeeWee division, called the fracas "an extremely unfortunate incident."
"I witnessed two men, two coaches, behaving inappropriately,” she said. “I witnessed one coach with very irate behavior and the other reacting to this behavior. I feel it was the result of tempers flaring, and it's unfortunate because both men are very important to our league." // Copyright 2007 by United Press International