Youth Game Ends Up As Footbrawl

Football field
An assistant youth football coach was arrested for felony child abuse after allegedly rushing the field and assaulting a boy on the opposing team (video), triggering a 20-minute brawl involving parents and children, police said.

Cory Petero, 36, of Riverbank, Calif., turned himself in to Stockton police 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.

Referee Tim Winek said he had just called a penalty on Brian Woods, 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 Woods' stepfather, told The (Stockton) Record that his stepson suffered bruises on his stomach and jaw from the assault. The Record said that Woods was still nursing swollen fingers on Monday.

The brawl erupted at around 3:30 p.m., with less than a minute left to play between the Riveroak Redskins and the Bears.

Fighting continued for about 20 minutes, according to witnesses. No major injuries were reported.

Riveroak coaches and parents later apologized to the other team and to their own children, reports The Record. But another Riveroak assistant coach, Rodney Garcia, told the paper that Petero was frustrated from seeing "one too many late hits" on his child.

Woods, the 116-pound player allegedly assaulted by Petero, said that's not true.

"They're trying to blame it on us," Woods said Monday. Champion, his stepfather, agreed, saying it appeared to be a typical youth game — until the brawl.