West Bloomfield Student Charged with Assault and Battery for Striking Coach
Incident stemmed from controversial finish at West Bloomfield/Stoney Creek football game.
The West Bloomfield High School student responsible for striking a 66-year-old Stoney Creek football coach on the field Friday night was charged with assault and battery Thursday morning, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office (OCSO).
The student will be given a court date in Oakland County Probate Court.
Capt. Michael Johnson, commander of the Rochester Hills substation for the OCSO, said that the student, 16, is a player on the football team who approached a Stoney Creek assistant coach after the game was over and punched the coach in the jaw, knocking him unconscious.
The coach was identified by Rochester Community Schools as Harold "Buzz" Zube, the father of varsity head coach Brad Zube, who was helping to coach the varsity Cougars during the 50-28 Homecoming night win over its Oakland Activities Association Red division rivals.
Johnson continued that the student, whom Patch has not named, was released to his parents that night after being arrested on the field.
According to a statement released Monday by the West Bloomfield School District signed by Superintendent Gerald Hill, the student was suspended in accordance with consequences of violating district policy after the incident.
"This incident involved the actions of one student only and not the team. The remainder of the West Bloomfield Lakers football team behaved appropriately," according to the statement.
The student remained suspended from school on Thursday, however, district officials offered no comment as to further disciplinary action.
Phil Sacha, a Lakers defensive assistant coach, was fired from the team after the incident by head coach Ron Bellamy. WBHS athletic director Pat Watson would not comment why, but Sacha, a 25-year-old Commerce resident, took to Facebook on Sunday to explain that Bellamy fired him as a result of disagreeing opinions.
"West Bloomfield players, I wish you best of luck the rest or the season, but Coach Bellamy has decided to let me go from my coaching position, because I don't agree with a lot of what has happened this season," Sacha wrote on his Facebook page, which is public.
"Thanks again guys, sorry a bunch of know nothing adults had to ruin your senior season."
Patch sent a private message to Sacha; it was not returned.
Video footage filmed for football purposes and shown to Patch Tuesday shows clearly the escalation of the incident beginning after an onside kick play with six seconds left in the game.
Video shows coach Brad Zube walking an estimated 15 yards from the home sideline after the kick, which did not appear to result in a penalty on either side.
Shortly thereafter, it appears that Zube ordered the team off of the field. A public address broadcaster can be heard explaining that the game was ruled as completed.
Video shows that after the Stoney Creek team exited the field, its coaching staff remained. Zube can be seen being restrained by other members of the Cougars coaching staff during an apparent argument.
The student can then be seen running into the fray and striking "Buzz" Zube, who fell to the field and almost immediately leapt to his feet.
The West Bloomfield School District's spokesperson Pam Zajac said Monday that the Lakers crossing the field and coming into contact with the Stoney Creek coaching staff was necessary in order for the team to leave.
"The Stoney Creek stadium is designed so that the only way for the opposing team to exit the field is to cross the field and exit up through the student section," Zajac said. "Crossing the field and coming into contact with their coaching staff only occurred because the team was attempting to exit the field."
Rochester Schools released a statement Monday explaining that Zube was fine after being tended to by team trainers.
The statement continued that an internal investigation is under way and that the school district is working with West Bloomfield administrators to find out what happened.
Any results from the investigation were unknown on Thursday.