GREENLAWN, N.Y. -- An argument over a baseball led to a man assaulting a teenager at a Long Island skate park, and shocking video led to charges and a suspension.
Fifteen-year-old Trent Rounsvall, a ninth grader at St. Anthony's High School, loves to bike with his friends at the Greenlawn Skate Park just adjacent to the town baseball field.
"A ball got hit into the park, almost hit me in the head, landed pretty much right in front of me, so I picked it up, put it in my pocket," he said.
The adult league players appeared incensed.
"They immediately came out of the dugout and started cursing at me," Trent said.
The assault that followed was caught on camera.
Thirty-six-year-old Andrew Chiaro, of Massapequa, has been charged with misdemeanor assault and endangering Trent's welfare. In court papers, he told officers, "I just wanted my ball back."
"I was just thinking, no way this is actually happening right now, that someone who I can tell is a lot older than me was putting his hands on me," Trent said.
"I felt the range of emotions as a mom -- shocked, crying, angry," said Trent's mother, Terry Lipton.
Trent's mom says her son, who is rather shy and plays the bagpipes, is still struggling from the May 21 incident.
"Just sobbed, and I can't remember the last time I saw my son cry," Lipton said. "I held him and I just reassured him that he didn't do anything wrong, that I was proud of him."
The town of Huntington says the suspect is suspended from league play for ten games. Chiaro's team is currently banned from playing in Huntington town parks.
"The town has a zero tolerance policy for any kind of violence in our parks or in our athletic fields. To watch the video, it was absolutely absurd and unacceptable to see an adult going after a child like that," Huntington Town Supervisor Ed Smyth said.
Initially, no charges were filed. Trent's mother claims Suffolk police believed the adult ballplayers, who claimed "the punk skaters" were to blame and that there was no physical altercation, until, she says, the cell phone video appeared.
"I think that really set me on a mission, to seek justice," Lipton said.
Chiaro and his attorney declined comment.
Trent's family says they want Suffolk Internal Affairs to investigate the police response.
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