Charges will be filed against a Georgia youth football coach who was caught on camera attacking one of his players, leading to the man’s expulsion from the league.
The troubling incident unfolded at Austin Tindall Park in Kissimmee, Florida, on Monday, involving a team of 9-year-olds from Savannah, Georgia, according to statements by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and American Youth Football.
An unidentified person in Maryland shared video of the attack with deputies, stating that he “did not know anyone in the video and just wanted it to be in the right hands,” the sheriff’s office said Friday.
“I observed the coach slap the players (sic) helmet with enough force to shift his balance. After a few moments the coach hit the player again in the helmet knocking him to the ground,” according to a report written by responding officer Doug Ford, who identified the offending coach as Gerrel Williams.
“After the second hit to the helmet the coach was screaming in the players (sic) face face. Once the coach was done screaming, he shoved the kids (sic) head pushing him of (sic) the field.”
American Youth Football (AYF) “identified the team by the video and stated the coach was expelled from the league, and was no longer able to attend any game,” according to Ford.
The child’s mom knows what happened but “specifically stated she did not want to press charges” against the attacking coach, according to Ford.
But the sheriff’s office said Saturday that after reviewing the case with the local state attorney’s office “the decision has been made that charges for child abuse will be filed.”
“The actions of this person are despicable and there is zero tolerance when it comes to the abuse of a child,” Major Jacob Ruiz said in a statement.
AYF claims it was behind the video being shared with deputies and said Williams was issued “a lifetime ban from the organization and any of its events,” according to a league statement.
Williams was “behaving in complete breach of the AYF Code of Conduct” in the video, the league said.
The coach could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday at a phone number listed for him in Savannah. But in a video seen on NBC affiliate WSAV in Savannah, a person appearing to be Williams said he regrets publicly reprimanding the child.
“I’m not going to make excuses for what I did. I was wrong. I shouldn’t have disciplined him in public, I should’ve waited until we got back,” Williams said. “At the end of the day, I apologize to him, the kids, the city down here and my family back at home.”