Coach has player, 8, hurt to keep him out of game
Friday, July 15, 2005 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Little League coach in Fayette County arranged for one of his own players to be hurt so that he couldn't play in a game, state police said.
Charges were filed today against Mark Reed Downs, Jr., 27, of Dunbar, in connection with the June 27 incident.
In a news release, police said an 8-year-old tee-ball player with a mental disability was warming up with another player before a game at the R.W. Clark Little League Field in North Union Township. Just before that, police said, Downs, the head coach, 'approached the other member of the team and told him that he would give him $25 to hit the victim on his head with a baseball so the victim would not be able to play in the game.'
The other player hit the victim in the left ear and also in the groin, police said. The victim could not play that night.
Police said that interviews they conducted 'revealed Downs did not want the victim to play due to his physical limitations.'
Downs was charged with criminal solicitation to commit aggravated assault, corruption of minors and reckless endangerment.
He was arraigned today and released on unsecured bond."