Another update on a coach and his assault case…


1 Response to “Another update on a coach and his assault case…”

  1. November 6, 2010 at 10:30 PM

    WOBURN — Former Wilmington Pop Warner Coach William Reynolds has been cleared after a “man-to-man” fight with a player’s parent last October ended in criminal charges against both men.

    After a three-day trial that began Tuesday, a Woburn District Court jury yesterday found Reynolds, 43, of Gunderson Road, innocent of assault and battery.

    Police alleged that on Oct. 16, 2009, Michael VonKahle, 48, of Winchell Road, suffered a broken nose, a shattered eye socket and a concussion after an altercation with Reynolds. Police say that when VonKahle showed up for practice 10 minutes late with his 12-year-old son, Reynolds ordered the boy to run laps around the field as punishment.

    When VonKahle protested, saying his son shouldn’t be punished for his father’s mistake, an argument between the two adults quickly turned into a fistfight. Both men claim the other threw the first punch.

    Reynolds filed a cross-complaint against VonKahle, charging him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot) and assault and battery. VonKahle’s trial is scheduled for April 5.

    According to Reynolds’ lawyer, Pamela Harris-Daley, her client was bullied and verbally and physically assaulted.

    “Coach Reynolds was bullied that day,” she said. “The victim in that case is Mr. Reynolds. Mr. VonKahle acted like a bully, and all the evidence was heard and justice was served.”

    Harris-Daley said she is confident VonKahle will be found guilty of the charges against him.

    Last night, a man who answered VonKahle’s phone said VonKahle was not taking phone calls on this matter.

    Harris-Daley said she and her client are disappointed in the lack of support Reynolds received from the Pop Warner organization. She said Reynolds has a 15-year history as a coach and would like to get back to it.

    “He has no bigger desire than to continue coaching,” she said.

    Wilmington Pop Warner President Deb Smith said she had no comment.

    When asked if Reynolds would be allowed to come back as a coach, Smith said, “That has not even come up so I wouldn’t even have an answer.”

    In his statement to police, Reynolds said he acted in self-defense. He told police VonKahle was so irate that his son was made to run laps for being late that VonKahle launched into a profanity-laced tirade in front of the young football players, Harris-Daley said at Reynolds’ arraignment last year.

    VonKahle admits he made the remarks but told police he did it in a “joking manner,” according to court documents.

    Reynolds, a father of three, had suggested he and VonKahle talk “man-to-man” out of the players’ earshot, the attorney said. Minutes later, Reynolds emerged from the woods and returned to practice.

    Three hours later, VonKahle appeared at the Wilmington police station with several visible injuries, including a swollen left eye and broken nose. Police took photos of the injuries.

    Reynolds told police that VonKahle threw his jacket over Reynolds’ head and started throwing punches.

    “So I started punching back,” Reynolds said, according to court documents. “I punched him a couple of times and said, ‘You had enough?’ He said, ‘Yup.’ I went back and finished practice.”

    This incident is one of several in recent years involving parent-coach confrontations that escalate to violence. Perhaps most notable was the 2001 case at a Reading hockey rink that turned deadly. Thomas Junta of Reading was convicted of manslaughter in the beating death of Michael Costin after their sons’ hockey practice.

    Junta was sentenced in 2002 to six to 10 years in state prison. He was released in August after serving eight years of his sentence.

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