The Case of the Head-Butting Hoopster.
February 9, 2002 1:27 AM   Subscribe

The Case of the Head-Butting Hoopster. High-school basketball players collide during a game; the guy from the visiting team allegedly head-butts the other but is called for only a personal foul. On the home team is the son of the local district attorney, who is sitting (or perhaps ranting) in the stands. He's just sure that a crime has been committed, so ... (more inside)
posted by diddlegnome (11 comments total)
... so he files charges against the kid from the other team, and they strike an unusual deal. Kid, if you don't play in Friday's rematch (and you get some counseling), I'll drop the charges. Pandemonium ensues, with abuse-of-power charges flung at the DA, who in addition to a possible conflict of interest evidently has some other character issues (read the letter called "Who needs anger management?" He's finally forced to drop the case, which comes to its final conclusion a few days later. Oh, how'd the game turn out? You'd never believe it.
posted by diddlegnome at 1:29 AM on February 9, 2002

That is great. Hilarious.
posted by McBain at 1:41 AM on February 9, 2002

Jesus- that sounds like the plot of a USA Up-All-Night movie. The only thing we need is for the evil DA and his spoiled rich-kid son to also be involved in a land deal where they're trying to build a golf course but have to bulldoze the popular surf shop first; the only way to save the surf shop is a bikini contest, etc, etc. Hilarity ensues.

Or something like that.
posted by hincandenza at 1:53 AM on February 9, 2002

Heh. Maybe they could get Ray Liotta to play the DA.
posted by diddlegnome at 2:12 AM on February 9, 2002

He said a judge likely would have ordered that same condition had Taylor faced formal charges Friday as scheduled in Klamath County juvenile court.

Sounds like a line might have been crossed here between being a prosecutor and abusing the power of the office. I hope that a complaint is made to a disciplinary counsel office, so that this can be investigated further. Should a prosecutor be making a decision that clearly falls into the range of power that he doesn't have the authority to impose? It would be the job of a judge to make the decision as to whether Taylor would play in the next game, not a prosecutor.

But we are making some assumptions here that the hit in the game might have been something that would normally occur in a basketball game. Is violence in youth sports escalating? I found the situations reported in the yellow box entitled Young Athletes Out of Control? on this page making me think that we have to look carefully in situations like this one.

Great presentation of this story, diddlegnome.
posted by bragadocchio at 3:58 AM on February 9, 2002

You want to get that sent over to these guys.
posted by RobertLoch at 5:01 AM on February 9, 2002

Update--Mail Tribune 02/05/02 [excerpt from archives]:

Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston said Monday that he will not pursue criminal charges against North Medford High School basketball player Zach Taylor for allegedly head-butting a Klamath Union High School player during a game. Huddleston said he declined to prosecute Taylor after viewing the videotape of the Jan. 4 incident. It was the same tape that Klamath County District Attorney Ed Caleb, whose son plays on Klamath Union's team, used to instigate a criminal assault case against Taylor. Huddleston said the school system and the basketball court, not criminal courts, were more appropriate arenas for handling such incidents. "While I believe that criminal acts can occur within the context of a sporting event, the incident in question does not rise to that level," Huddleston said.
posted by Carol Anne at 6:04 AM on February 9, 2002

genius. thanks for the story/links, dg.
posted by lotsofno at 7:27 AM on February 9, 2002

Black Tornado... that is either one kickass team name, or really offensive. Let's ask Rudy Ray Moore.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 9:15 AM on February 9, 2002

i agree...excellent story, excellent link setup diddlegnome.
posted by BlueTrain at 11:29 AM on February 9, 2002

As a high school hoopster right up the highway, I can say that while Klamath Union has great track and North Medford are a football powerhouse, the game their playing has zero playoff implications. Grants Pass and South Medford are the usual powers in SOC hoops, and even they are usually wiped off the floor quickly when they play teams from Portland and Eugene at the state tournament.
posted by Kevs at 12:21 AM on February 10, 2002

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