Police arrest coach suspected of on-field assault
STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) -- An assistant youth football coach who allegedly rushed onto the field and assaulted a boy on the opposing team was arrested on suspicion of felony child abuse, police said.
Cory Petero, 36, of Riverbank, turned himself in Saturday night following what witnesses described as a late hit that turned into a brawl, with parents and children from both teams fighting on the field for about 20 minutes.
No major injuries were reported and no charges have been filed, but Stockton police were still investigating.
Referee Tim Winek said he had just called a penalty on Brian Wood, 13, a Stockton Bears player.
"There was a penalty on the play, and it was a late hit," Winek said. "The parent of the kid who got hit took exception to it. He came charging out onto the field."
Daniel Champion, who identified himself as Wood's father, told The (Stockton) Record that his son suffered bruises on his stomach and jaw from the assault.
The brawl erupted at around 3:30 p.m. with less than a minute left to play between the Riveroak Redskins and the Bears. At the time of the clash, the Redskins were ahead 16-6.
Reg Evans, vice president of the Delta Youth Football League, said Petero was out of line and should be banned from coaching.
"He [Petero] will never coach in the DYFL again," Evans said.
"This never should have happened."
Petero's family said he had no comment.
Evans and other league officials met Monday to decide what to do after the brawl. The league governs about 12,000 players ages 7 to 14 in the northern San Joaquin Valley.
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