SAFFORD, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Just seconds after a high school wrestling match ended, an apparent assault happened at a sectional meet on Saturday, Feb. 2.
The incident started during a match between wrestlers from Canyon del Oro High School and Salpointe Catholic High School during the sectional meet at Safford High School.
Safford Police Chief Joe Brugman released this statement about the incident Monday:
"On February 2, 2019 at about 3:30 Safford Officers were dispatched to the Safford High School in reference to a fight and disturbance that took place during a high school sanctioned wrestling match.
Upon arrival to the school, Safford officers learned that a wrestler for the Canyon Del Oro High School (XXXX, 18 years of age) had aggressively tackled the coach of his opponent team. Team members from both teams, officials and school staff attempted to restrain XXXX, at which time his father (XXXX, 39 years of age) crossed a barrier and came onto the mat area in an aggressive manner, creating the need to restrain him as well.
The case has been turned over to Safford Detectives for further investigation and charging determination.
KOLD News 13 has decided not to share the name of the student and parent involved due to no charges being filed at this time.
Multiple videos were sent to KOLD News 13 following the tense situation involving southern Arizona athletes and coaches.
In a video, it appears the CDO wrestler elbowed a Salpointe wrestler in the neck.
The referee blew the whistle and after a little pushing, coaches ran onto the mat, with a CDO coach pulling his wrestler from the center of the mat.
KOLD News 13 has blurred the face of the CDO wrestler involved.
With a disqualification, the referee declared the match for Salpointe. The two wrestlers met in the middle of the mat, shook hands and made their way back to their teams. But the wrestling didn’t end there.
After a few seconds, a Salpointe coach, wearing a white shirt, walked onto the mat and out of the view of the camera. That is when the CDO wrestler appeared to charge at the coach and tackled him to the ground.
The two wrestle for a second and the first video ends.
A second video, shot from a different angle, appears to show the ensuing fight.
The video shows about eight to 10 men, in both CDO and Salpointe clothing, pushing and pulling others away from the mat. Several people joined in from the stands and surrounding area.
About 40 seconds into the second video, the group began to separate and the situation appeared to end.
A Salpointe spokesman told KOLD News 13 the assistant coach is OK.
Amphitheater Public Schools provided this statement on Sunday night, Feb. 3:
“Amphitheater Public Schools is aware of the incident that occurred at a wrestling match on Saturday. The District is investigating and will follow its Code of Conduct in determining any disciplinary action.”