Youth Football Coach Arrested After Allegedly Assaulting 14-Year-Old Player

A youth football coach was arrested after Murrieta police said he punched a 14-year-old boy during a game over the weekend.

The family of Harlem Kaowili, of Perris, is demanding justice following the Saturday assault. According to the teen’s loved ones, the boy suffered a seizure and a concussion after he was struck by the adult toward the end of a match between the Murrieta Broncos and the Perris Panthers.

“To watch him seize and pass out because another adult; I can understand children, but this was an adult who intentionally hit my child in front of me,” said Neenah Kaowili, Harlem’s mother.

According to Kaowili, the assault happened right after the game ended at Vista Murrieta High School. Neenah said her son did not provoke the coach and she was shocked no one came to her boy’s defense. Now, she’s concerned Harlem may never play again.

“What happens if we don’t get the old Harlem back? What do we do? You get suspended from your league and a slap on the wrist and my son has to deal with this for the rest of his life,” Neenah said in tears.

The coach, who was not named by police, has since been suspended and banned from the Murrieta Broncos. The Perris Panthers Youth Football Team says that’s not enough, and they are hoping the Murrieta Youth Football league gets banned.

“They don’t deserve to play football if that’s how they are going to play and that’s the image they are going to keep,” Neenah said.

It’s still unclear what led up to the violence. Witnesses told NBC4 that throughout the game, both teams seemed agitated by plays and calls from the referees.

The Murrieta Youth Football commissioner said he does not condone any violence and wants to apologize to Harlem and his family for what happened.

The investigation is ongoing. It is unclear what charges the coach involved in the attack may face.

2023-09-26 07:06:11
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