SAN DIEGO (AP) — A youth football coach was arrested after a confrontation with a parent — apparently stemming from a dispute over recruitment of a top player — in which the parent was kicked and punched, then knocked unconscious when he tripped and hit the ground, police said.
The coach, Saivaauli Savaiinea, was arrested Saturday afternoon on suspicion of felony battery, according to San Diego Police Officer David Stafford.
Savaiinea, 32, reportedly attacked Mark Cannon during an argument at Abraham Lincoln High School. The coach allegedly punched the parent in one shoulder and kicked him in the stomach. Cannon tripped over his own feet, fell and hit his head on concrete, Stafford said.
Cannon, also 32, was taken to a trauma center with head injuries. Police had no word on his condition Sunday.
The confrontation began after Savaiinea reportedly thought he overheard Cannon trying to recruit one of his best players, Police Lt. Dan Christman told the San Diego Union Tribune.
The coach paid $35,000 in bail and was released was jail at 1 a.m. Sunday, according to a dispatcher at the jail. It's unclear whether Savaiinea had retained an attorney.
The two men were with opposing teams of 9, 10 and 11-year-old kids from Chula Vista.