QUINLAN (CBSDFW.COM) - A North Texas high school student says his coach crossed the line, grabbing him around the throat. The athlete from Quinlan ISD says it happened during a track meet in Caddo Mills.
But even if he can prove it, state law may prevent the coach from facing serious charges.
Coley Turbeville said, "I just remember one hand going right here and he just squeezed."
Turbeville says the hand belonged to Virgil Crow, the Ford High School Athletic Director in Quinlan who is
also his track coach.
Turbeville's mother, Crystal Devine, said, "I was shocked. Honestly I thought it was another coach."
It happened when Ford was at Caddo Mills on the last day in March. Witnesses say Coley was runnnig alongside his teammates, cheering them on when the coach grabbed him.
"That's what I saw. He was shoving him back, about five steps back, like this," a man said, showing the way it looked by placing his hands around his throat.
He and another witness, fearing retaliation, did not want to be identified. "I turned around and sure enough. Coach Crow did have his hands around Coley's neck.
"I didn't know you could get disqualified for running along the track," Coley said.
Coley filed with police who say the Coach and the coach's witnesses never saw a choke hold.
According to the police, the coach says he grabbed Coley by the chin. Police also say Coley didn't include pain or injury in his statement.
"I mean my adrenaline was pumping so fast. I guess I wasn't feeling any pain really," Coley said.
Without a complaint of injury or pain, the incident could potentially be placed in a category called "local parentis."
That's when a coach or teacher in the role of a parent restrains a child. It also means charges could be dismissed altogether.
"I don't think he has a right to put his hands around my throat and squeeze," Coley said.
His mother said, "If he could do this to my son, you better believe he's going to do it again.
Coley only wants to participate in sports again. He says he's technically still in athletics but not allowed to participate. Quinlan ISD Superintendant Mike French denies Coley's being kept from participating in sports.
We tried to reach the coach through his attorney but our call was never returned.
Meantime, police filed their report with the Hunt County Attorney today. He said if the case does go to trial, the maximum sentence would be one year in jail and/or a four-thousand dollar fine.
The minimum would be probation.
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