Youth football coach charged with throwing parent to the ground during brawl in game, cops say

October 26, 2018

Fighting marred a youth game between squads from Lawrence and Florence last weekend

The coach of a youth football team in Lawrence has been charged with simple assault for his role in a brawl during a game last weekend in which players, coaches and then parents fought on the field.

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During the Oct. 20 game against a team from Florence, Bryan Carter, 38, grabbed a Florence parent by the chest and threw him to the ground following a sideline tackle. The 53-year-old victim was not seriously injured.

Carter turned himself in to police on Wednesday and was charged with felony simple assault and released on a summons pending a court date, Lawrence police said Friday.

Simple assault is typically a non-indictable charge, but New Jersey law elevates simple assault at a youth sports event to a fourth-degree indictable crime, or felony.

Thomas DeMarco, president of the board of the team involved, the Lawrence Jr. Cardinals, declined comment when reached Friday. The Cardinals field five teams based on age and weight. Carter is the head coach of the 115-pound squad.

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Carter, when reached Thursday by NJ Advance Media, declined comment. He could not immediately be reached Friday.

Footage of the incident was posted on YouTube earlier this week but has since been removed. It shows a hit on the field among players turn into pushing and shoving. Coaches enter the fray, and then parents enter the field.

Several skirmishes occur at once as referees constantly blow their whistles. Some adults appear to be peacemakers, while others seem to further the fighting.

A representative from the Florence team was not immediately available for comment.

Kevin Shea may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @kevintshea. Find on Facebook.


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