Violence at Soccer Championship Game

December 22, 2008 2:14:47 PM PST
Police in Bakersfield arrested a teenager accused of punching a local soccer player after a championship game.The victim left the field with a fractured jaw and broken nose.

Those who I talked to from San Joaquin Memorial say this wasn't a fight but more like a "cheap shot" that came out of nowhere. The victim is recovering after a bittersweet win.

A dark cloud is now hovering over a big victory at San Joaquin Memorial in overtime during the championship game in Bakersfield coaches and fans watched in astonishment as the happy occasion got ugly.

Rick Martinez, S.J.M. Soccer Coach: "We were celebrating and the next thing I knew I looked up and I just saw this boy take a swing and hit Liam, he went to the ground and I saw blood coming out and that was it."

Liam Hall is a Center Midfielder at San Joaquin Memorial, this picture shows Hall and the suspect, Ryan Wooley going toe to toe during the game.

Witnesses said after the incident Wooley ran off the field and left the area.

Kern High Police Officials took him into custody Friday morning and since he is 18 Wooley was booked in jail.

He could face more than just criminal charges.

"Someone that's suspended for this kind of an incident and arrested there's always the possibility they could be expelled."

Hall was treated after the game at a trauma center in Bakersfield for a broken nose and fractured jaw.

Hall's father says Wooley was trash talking Liam during the game, the San Joaquin Memorial Coach says emotions were definitely running high.

"I realize how heated these things can be. We've been to the Valley Championship eight times, this will be our 5th win, and I've been here coaching here for 23 years and I've never seen anything like this before."

This afternoon the suspect's brother said Wooley was the one being taunted before he took out his frustrations.

Darren Wooley, Suspect's Brother: "The opposing player provoked him to hit him. He came up to him after the game and there was some contact between him and my brother, that's when the fight broke out."

Investigators will be taking statements from witnesses and referees. ACIF Commissioner was also present when the violence broke out.

Another player was also punched during the incident Edwin Chavez was trying to come to Liam's aid when he was hit, too. He suffered a swollen lip.


Load Comments