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Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Student Says Coach Knocked His Teeth out

LITTLE ROCK (CN) - A college football coach punched an unsuspecting student so hard that his two front teeth "flew from his head" and he was knocked unconscious, the student claims in court.

Zaquan Alston-Carter sued Eric Dewayne Morris and Arkansas Baptist College, on Feb. 7 in Pulaski County Court.

Morris has been a defensive line football coach at the small, private liberal arts school in Little Rock since 2012. He also is the head strength and conditioning coach, according to the school's website.

Alston-Carter, a student at the college, claims in his lawsuit that he was walking near campus dorms on Feb. 9, 2014 when he came across a group the coach was addressing.

"As Mr. Zaquan Alston-Carter approached the group, Coach Eric Dewayne Morris suddenly turned to face him and then just as suddenly punched him with significant unrestrained force in the face, all without any warning or provocation," the complaint states.

"The extreme force of the unprovoked and sudden attack knocked Mr. Zaquan Alston-Carter immediately into unconscious[ness]. For several minutes a few of the bystanders attempted to rouse Mr. Alston-Carter to consciousness with no immediate effect. The force of the sudden unprovoked blow knocked out Mr. Alston-Carter's two front teeth, which flew from his head."

Alston-Carter claims that, being unconscious, he was unable to recover his teeth "which were then presumably still ... in proximity after being knocked from his mouth."

"Mr. Alston-Carter was examined in the emergency room of a local hospital where some kind bystander took him while defendant Coach Morris chose to attend his presence and attention to some other location and matters not yet known," the lawsuit states.

Morris told Courthouse News on Tuesday that he was unaware of the lawsuit. He said the punch was an accident.

"It was an accident," Morris said. "He even wrote a statement right after it happened that it was an accident." Morris declined further comment.

Alston-Carter seeks punitive damages for assault, battery, false imprisonment and outrage.

He is represented by Brian W. Ray of Little Rock.

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