Four New Jersey high school basketball players have been suspended by their high school in connection with an assault on a coach that took place Tuesday night.
The incident occurred at about 9 p.m. outside Malcolm X. Shabazz High School in Newark, according to WABC.
Video shows an adult, identified as the junior varsity coach, being assaulted after the team returned from a game in Livingston.
The incident began with one individual jumping the coach and — with the help of two others — throwing him to the ground.
After that, those three and another student gathered around to kick, stomp and punch the coach.
The assault ended when a man in a black coat arrived to disperse the players.
Officials said the coach declined medical attention.
WARNING: The video below contains scenes of violence and vulgar language that some viewers may find disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.
Disturbing video out of Newark, NJ where a high school basketball coach was attacked by his own players. Police are working to identify the suspects. (Sharing recut video due to offensive language) Live report on Eyewitness News and updates here: https://t.co/ASc7PagSOp pic.twitter.com/5elHx2ujQo
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) February 6, 2020
“Those found to have participated in this senseless act of violence will face criminal charges,” Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose said, according to NJ.com.
He described what took place as an aggravated assault.
“Our detectives are investigating this incident to identify and to appropriately charge those individuals involved,” Ambrose said.
“Because high school students are typically juveniles, the names of the suspects will not be released.”
Citing sources it did not name, WABC reported the coach tried to stop the players from harassing a student, so he became their target instead.
Many on social media said the students deserve hard punishment:
I always say it to this day. I’m grateful my parents disciplined me. It did teach me to be a better person. I’m from the old school. Don’t spoil the child and spare the rod. Those kids would probably beat their parents. SAD…
— nalinyk (@leosgurl24) February 6, 2020
They don’t deserve a basketball program, and each one should get jail time and community service.
— Liberty (@Sm0Boo) February 7, 2020
“I spoke to the superintendent, principal, coaches and team,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said.
“The actions of these students will not be tolerated, and they don’t represent the majority of the school. The school and team have many great kids, who go on to college and do great things, and we’re proud of them. We support the superintendent and principal and will do whatever we can to make the rest of the year successful,” he added.
One student was unhappy with the negative attention now focused on the school because of the incident.
“It’s kind of embarrassing,” Nashawn Holmes told WABC. “We should be getting seen for better things like our community, our teams.”
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