Two Bishop Amat football players accuse rival coach of assault; police investigating

Two Bishop Amat soccer players claim they were physically assaulted by Damien High School soccer coaches at a game on Friday night – and now head soccer coach Matt Bechtel has been suspended.

Aiden Ramos, a 19-year-old running back for Bishop Amat Memorial High School, alleges that the head coach at Damien High, along with another coach, ripped off his helmet and grabbed his shoulder pads after he and the coaches exchanged heated arguments Words after a tense rivalry game on Friday.

Bechtel could not be reached Monday, and a Damien High School receptionist referred the Times to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for comment.

Ramos’ father, Jesse Ramos, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that the altercation left his son with a bruise under his left eye and that a police report was filed with the La Verne Police Department on Saturday morning.

On Saturday, a second Bishop Amat footballer – who asked to remain anonymous – filed a police report with the La Verne Police Department, The Times confirmed.

In a statement Saturday, La Verne Police Chief Colleen Flores said her department was investigating a battery at the Damien High vs. Bishop Amos soccer game.

“A 19-year-old Bishop-Amat student alleges that he was struck by two subjects, and at least one of the subjects involved is a coach on the Damien High School football team,” the statement said. “The La Verne Police Department is actively investigating the incident and no further details are available at this time.”

In a separate statement released Saturday, the archdiocese said it had opened an internal investigation and that one of the Damien High School coaches involved in the incident had been placed on leave. The statement didn’t specify which of the coaches was suspended, but sources confirmed to The Times that it was Bechtel.

“The Archdiocese has been informed that a report has been made to the La Verne Police Department on the incident,” the statement said. “In accordance with Archdiocese guidelines, the person named in the report has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the Police Department and Archdiocese investigation.”

Damien High and Bishop Amat athletic directors Jeff Grant and Joe Hoggatt could not be reached for comment.

Tensions rose on Friday night following Bishop Amat’s victorious 35-7 win over his longtime rival when Bishop Amat’s head coach Steve Haggerty refused to shake hands with Bechtel after the game. Sources told The Times Bechtel confronted Haggerty and it wasn’t long before the players and coaches started attacking each other. Two Bishop Amat football players accuse rival coach of assault; police investigating

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