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Foul ball at N.J. high school game leads to assault case

Baby - infant, baseball bat, crime scene tape AP / CBS

AP
(CBS) Scotch Plains, N.J. - When a player in a recent high school baseball game in central New Jersey hit a foul ball, it led to some behavior that was definitely a little batty.

Union Catholic High was hosting Plainfield on Saturday in Scotch Plains when the ball hooked over the third base dugout into a nearby yard on Dutch Lane.  Game on.

Union assistant principal and varsity baseball coach Jim Reagan Jr. said one of his players went to retrieve the ball and was assaulted by the homeowner as he headed back to the dugout, CBS New York reported.

"The boy was caught from behind," Reagan said. "The boy did not see it, did not hear it, had no idea until he was in his grip."

Reagan said 44-year-old Michael Bennett ran out of his home, lunged through the treeline and jumped on the 18-year-old's back, wrestling him for the ball.

Apparently he wasn't looking to sell it.

"One arm was around his waist, the other arm was over his shoulder by his neck," Reagan said. "I screamed from the third base coaching box, 'Stop it' and 'Get your hands off of my player.'"

Bennett was charged with simple assault, CBS New York reported.

"The whole situation is surreal," Reagan said. "I don't know what was going on in his head."

Police said residents on the street have long complained about foul balls crashing into their yards.

Now the lawyers are on deck.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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