Watch CBS News

Youth Soccer Coach Charged In Incident That Critically Injured 10-Year-Old Boy

Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A local coach who asked several children to help get a van free from ice in January is now charged with multiple counts of child endangerment.

It was Jan. 25, a cold icy night.

Coach Elliott Freeman, 29, told police he knew the parking lot was icy, but he and the team were running late for a soccer game in Polish Hill and decided to park in the West Penn Recreation Center lot anyway.

Freeman, a coach with the Ambassadors Football Club, told police by the time the game ended around 8:30 p.m., the van was stuck. Half of it was in the grass and half of it was in the lot. He asked several of the boys to help push the vehicle, but it didn't budge.

According to the criminal complaint, Freeman put a 15-year-old girl behind the wheel of the van, giving her basic instructions on how to operate the gas, brake and gears to put the van in reverse.

Freeman was standing by the open driver's door. When the girl hit the gas, the vehicle lurched forward. Some of the boys ran.

Freeman told the underage driver to give it more gas. The van was moving. He put his foot inside the van over the girl's foot, which was on the brake. Freeman knew there was a steep hill ahead.

The open driver's door hit a storage container, and for a minute, Freeman was wedged between the open van door and the container.

By that point, Freeman realized one of the boys was pinned under the van. Someone called 911 and the boy was taken to Children's Hospital in critical condition.

When the van was inspected, police found the tires were bad, especially the back ones. In fact, the cords were exposed. Investigators say that was probably a big factor in why they couldn't move the vehicle off the ice.

Although this happened in January, charges were just filed against Freeman on Tuesday.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.