New Jersey Teenager Pulls Off Helmet Of Lineman And Uses It To Assault Him . . . Officials Let Him Continue To Play

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 11.05.10 AMWe discussed this week the case of two Texas teenage football players who viciously attacked a ref under orders from one of the coaches. The shocking incident was captured on videotape. Now an eighteen-year-old Linden High School (NJ) football player is on videotape (below) pulling off the helmet of an opponent’s helmet and then hitting him in the head with it. After an outcry, supporters insisted that the opposing player had used a racial slur and cheated. Once again, however, (as with the same allegation in Texas) a physical assault is not a justified response to either alleged act.

The incident occurred at a Friday game when a lineman on the Immaculata High School team dove toward the team. The teen is clearly shown hitting the lineman with his helmet, sending the other teenager to the hospital to receive 10 stitches.

What is very disappointing is the response of Salaam Ismial, director of the Elizabeth-based United Youth Council, who dismissed the incited by saying “Things like this happen in football. He didn’t go up to hurt this kid. They were two bulls tangling.” Really? This would be assault just 20 feet away off the field. It is clearly in violation of the rules and calculated to injury the other player. What is even more disturbing is that the attacker was not removed from the game. I am not sure what the standards are in New Jersey, but any football game that I know of — on either a high school or professional level — would require the teenager’s immediate removal. That bizarre decision is now being cited by the attacker’s mother as evidence that what he did was not a big deal: “If it was so bad, which it was a bad incident, they should have taken him out of the game. They allowed him to play the third and fourth quarter. He apologized to the student.”

It was only after the controversy went national with the tape on YouTube that the local football officials showed a modicum of responsibility. Linden Superintendent Danny Robertozzi said, after an investigation of the incident, that the player should be removed from the team. Whatever else may happen in this case, families in Linden need to serious review the training and competence of the officials who allowed his student to return to play and failed to take immediate action after a clear assault on another student.

As discussed yesterday, we cover this controversy in torts in the context of the case of Hackbart v. The Cincinnati Bengals involving a game between the Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals in Denver in 1973. The Broncos’ defensive back, Dale Hackbart, was injured by a blow by Bengals’ offensive back, Charles “Booby” Clark. The court ruled that the hit fell outside of the NFL rules and thus Hackbart did not consent to such a battery. The reason was that the hit violated the rules of the game. However, there was no discussion of whether the rules of the NFL differed from the practices or industry custom.

The teenager’s mother insists that her son somehow did not intend to hit the other boy with the helmet: “He said his hand got stuck in the helmet. I believe in my child.” However, you can watch the videotape below. It certainly appears to be a conscious and deliberative act. But the way, after clearly realizing that he just assaulted the lineman with a helmet, the attacker just walks away. There is no evidence of remorse or concern.

The question is whether this matter should also result in a criminal charge. As we discussed yesterday, some assaults during sporting events have been prosecuted even if the punishment is slight. It most certainly could be litigated as a battery under torts.

What do you think?

Source: Fox

20 thoughts on “New Jersey Teenager Pulls Off Helmet Of Lineman And Uses It To Assault Him . . . Officials Let Him Continue To Play”

  1. Racial taunts are used by teams to get the other team to create fouls, like this one. The object of the game is to win.

  2. chipkellyshouldgoogleleibniz
    The story is about one high school kid hitting another kid with a helmet. The blog is in context of the recent on field actions of other high school kids. Not everything is about race. I know you would like it to be, but it is not. In this case is it about high school kids doing stupid things and what the repercussions of their actions should be.

  3. mark, Great comment. I coached baseball for 30 years. Loved the kids, some of the parents not so much. Volunteering is the backbone of teaching kids those lessons you eloquently mentioned. Great coaches taught me as much as classroom teachers. Coaching is teaching, just not in a classroom.

  4. These recent incidents of on the field hooliganism by high school students is disheartening. Participation in sports has taught me many valuable lesson: graciousness in victory, perseverance in defeat, sacrifice for team, respect for the opponent, self and umpires, consequences of actions/decisions.
    What seems to be lacking these days are role models for the young men of today. The lessons of youth team competition seem to be morphing into that of the pros…win at all cost…inflate/deflate, lie/deny, PED’s, “if you ain’t cheatin, you ain’t trying” attitude. There are no consequences for your actions anymore. I think this statement can be extended to our society in general today. No consequences, especially if you have material resources to avoid legal justice.
    Just very, very sad for the children of today and their future. Praise to the good men and women who sacrifice their time and energy to teach, coach, guide, mold these young lumps of clay.

  5. EconisEasy

    Don’t claim the mantle of civil liberties if little to no discussion is given to genuine issues concerning civil liberties for the majority of people (not only JT and all his friends, there are many other folks in this country). It makes civil liberties seem like a confusing concept, they are not. some want to justify certain people taking others’ liberties away and contrive odd reasoning to defend profane actions.

  6. Lisa N.

    I couldn’t be an elitist, I’m indebted to professors that demand six-figure salaries or they will jet to the private market.

    Also, black lies matter? I’m white…..

    But I’ll continue to say Black Lives Matter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. chipkellyshouldgoogleleibniz said
    “So this is a story?
    Wonder why?
    Probably because the person allegedly committing the assault is black. this place is way too simple.”

    “So this is a story?
    Wonder why?
    Probably because the person allegedly committing the assault is WHITE. this place is way too simple.”

    What if the roles were reversed. Then you would still claim racism and claim it was ignored because the white player who assaulted the black one wasn’t suspended from playing. Roll my eyes! Black lies matter!

    Don’t you ever get tired of being an elitist hypocrite ?

  8. It’s only news if the races were reversed.

    I wish Prof. Turley would publish the clearly different legal rules by race, gender, other critieria.
    It’s confusing to us mere proles that try not to break the law.

    The current rankings (subject to change):

    Gay > Transgender/etc. > Lesbian > Female> Male
    Black > Mexican > Native American > Arab > Indian >> Asian ≥ White
    College women >> College men (= zero, under the law)
    Muslim > Pagan = New Age > Atheist > Hindu > Buddhist > Other >> Christian > Catholic

    The mixtures of the two cause the most confusion, so I’d appreciate some clarification by our legal counsel.

  9. The player should be ejected from the game and perhaps suspended for a number of games. It appeared to be a gesture of sorts and not a premeditated attack; but to give in to the mother’s explanation that it was an accident or that this comes with the territory is asinine. The move/swipe with the helmet appeared to be a deliberate and unsportsmanlike move of the ‘tussle’. Allowing the player to play includes this and worse as part of the game.

    Bringing the ‘law’ into it is nothing more than the knee jerk reaction of the obsessive legal mind. It was a display of bad sportsmanship at an extreme level and should be dealt with within the scope of the game.

    The value of this post seems to point to the over criminalization of American life. If the races were reversed there would have been an over accusing of racism. Sometimes it’s just testosterone and bad upbringing. I am continually reminded of a line in one of Shakespeare’s plays regarding ‘The first thing we do….”, and lawyers. However, I might get charged, convicted, jailed, so I won’t print that.

  10. I think JT better stop posting @ midnight. Too many insomniac malcontents take over the threads, It seems somewhat organized.

  11. To chipkellyshouldgoogleleibniz, please clarify for me. Are you being sarcastic or are you just moron? Are you saying it is okay for a black person to strike another person just because that person is white?
    Also, let me explain to why this is a story. First, because this is the third incident in the last few weeks of a premeditated attack on a football field not related to the game. The second reason is that this is JT’s blog and if he thinks it a story, it’s a story. If you do not think this a story, you don’t have to write about on YOUR blog.
    BTW, yes black lives matter, so do all lives. Plain and simple. It is not a complicated concept, for most people anyways.

  12. ninianpeckitt
    Because both teams agree that it’s part of the rules of the game. Striking someone with a helmet is not, especially considering it is a penalty for a player to take their helmet off on the field(delay of game) Ask Kyle Turley(completely unsure of relation, if any at all) formerly of the Saints. He missed like half a season for doing the same thing like ten years ago.

  13. “It in some ways is almost cultish.”

    No! Really?

    “From this foundation . . .”

    What a great foundation — cultish, violent behavior, “where deference is granted to players and staff because they are so revered by the community.”

    Ah, well then, it must be normal, as it’s revered.

    Is there a way out of this community, or are all destined to become Marines, or police?

  14. I think one needs to consider how football teams are perceived in some towns, especially small ones. There is much excitement and involvement in HS football with many residents. It in some ways is almost cultish. From this foundation it is often the case where deference is granted to players and staff because they are so revered by the community. Under these circumstances they are more apt to cover things up or at least look the other way when players or the schools commit malfeasances.

  15. Y’all can continue the support for oppression, but quite calling it support for civil liberties…

    Even though the JT blog wants to continue mass incarceration of young black males (based on posts and lack of speaking out or even discussing the horrid criminal law system we have) but still…

    Black Lives Matter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. So this is a story?

    Wonder why?

    Probably because the person allegedly committing the assault is black. this place is way too simple.

Comments are closed.