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Monday, June 24, 2024 | Back issues
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Cops Ganged Up on Team, H.S. Coach Says

MACON, Ga. (CN) - Security guards not only failed to break up a fight between two high school football teams, but aided the home team by pepper-spraying only the visitors, the visiting team's head coach clams in court.

David Daniel sued the Hancock County School District, police officers Richard Mayweather, Tampa Lewis and Patrick Williams and former Hancock football player Kendrez Mayweather, in Federal Court.

Richard Mayweather, Lewis and Williams were off-duty deputy sheriffs moonlighting for Hancock, the complaint states.

Daniel, Warren County High School's football coach, claims he suffered severe eye injuries when he tried to stop a post-game brawl between Hancock and Warren on Oct. 14, 2011.

The fight came after Warren beat Hancock 21-2. Warren's locker room was locked and as the players waited to get in, Hancock players taunted them, which led to the fight, Daniel says.

"Defendants Richard Mayweather, Lewis and Williams walked with the Hancock Central players as they left the football field," the complaint states. "Upon seeing the Hancock Central and Warren County players running toward each other, defendants Richard Mayweather, Lewis and Williams, with deliberate indifference, ran in front of the Hancock County players and began spraying the Warren County players with pepper spray. The actions of defendants Richard Mayweather, Lewis and Williams disabled Warren County players but allowed the Hancock Central players to continue advancing and hitting the Warren County players."

Daniel says the deputies' pepper spray made the Warren County players more vulnerable to injury. One of his players fell to the ground after being pepper sprayed, Daniel claims, and while he was down, Kendrez Mayweather hit him in the head with his football helmet. The coach claims Mayweather hit him, Daniel, in the face with his helmet when Daniels tried to stop him from hitting the player again.

"Mr. Daniel sustained serous personal injuries as a result of being struck in the face and head with a helmet by defendant Kendrez Mayweather," the complaint states. "Mr. Daniel's injuries include, but are not limited to a 'blow out' of the bones surrounding Mr. Daniel's right eye. Mr. Daniel was required to undergo extensive medical care and many surgical procedures for injuries to his eyes."

Daniel says Hancock knew the game would be an emotionally charged affair. Warren's former coach had just become an assistant coach for Hancock, and players from both teams had gotten into an altercation the week before.

Daniel seeks actual and punitive damages for violation of his right to due process, medical bills, lost income and physical and emotional pain and suffering.

He is represented by Jerry A. Lumley.

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