EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - New surveillance video from Heritage Middle school shows the moments before and after a Maple Heights basketball coach allegedly punched a student in the face.
The Maple Heights coach is charged with assault. The 14-year-old and his mother, Tabatha Gilbert, said the coach punched him in the face during a fight that broke out after the basketball game.
“I was fighting [Maple Heights players]. I was on the ground getting stomped and stuff. The coach hit me in my eye,” the teen alleged.
The teen’s hand was also broken in the fight.
Police Chief Scott Gardner said they’re trying to determine what exactly happened. He said “there were several different eye witnesses that observed one of the coaches hit a juvenile in the face.”
The police report said witnesses heard Clark was trying to get his players to start a fight and told them to “jump on them boys.” He said they charged the coach because of witness statements.
But, he said they also received conflicting reports. “There's several people that indicate the fight was already in progress and he was attempting to break the fight up and inadvertently struck somebody,” said Chief Gardner.
The teen, the coach and the teen’s mother are all seen in the surveillance video. The video doesn’t show the alleged assault. Police said they were told it happened in the locker room.
The video shows East Cleveland students rushing into the locker room. Then moments later a fight spills out into the hallway. At that point, it also appears a student hit the coach in question.
Return to 19 News on this developing story.