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Warren County football coach denies claims he hit first in postgame brawl

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 4:46 PM
Last updated 7:11 PM
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Warren County football coach David Daniel denies claims in a Georgia Bureau of Investigation report that he initiated the incident that directly led to his being injured during the Oct. 14 football brawl between his team and Hancock Central.

In the 1,000-plus page report, which The Augusta Chronicle reviewed, a Hancock Central player admitted hitting Daniel, but only after Daniel hit first. Another Hancock Central player, Justin Rocker, said Daniel pushed his teammate three times and hit him in the face. The Hancock Central player – the one who admitted hitting Daniel in the face with his fist – then hit back, Rocker said.

“No, no,” Daniel said Thursday when asked if he had pushed anyone first.

Daniel, who suffered damage to his eye socket and had metal plates inserted in his head, said his health is improving but his head bothers him by the end of the day. The coach was adamant his health and the postgame incident wouldn’t bring an end to his coaching career.

“I’ve never been a quitter,” Daniel said. “I ain’t going to quit now. We can’t teach our kids that.”

Warren County Schools Superintendent Carole Jean Carey said she is thinking about having what she describes as co-head coaches for the upcoming season. She said she is hoping Daniel will lead the defense while another would handle offense and organizational details. Carey said she is meeting with the board Monday night and will present this plan.

Daniel said he plans to file a civil suit over the incident. A Hancock County grand jury on Jan. 25 decided not to indict anyone in the incident.

The identity of the player who admits to hitting Daniel has not been revealed and is redacted from the report.

However, according to the GBI report, a handful of Hancock Central players were not allowed to play in the team’s next game against Wilkinson County.

The reasons given were for involvement in the brawl; failure to show up to practice during the week – Hancock Central had no school that week; suffering an injury in the fight; or for a separate incident.

Also, Hancock Central defensive coordinator Marleau Blount, who resigned as Warren County’s head coach before the season started after allowing players to practice before they completed physicals, said he hopes to get his good name back after attention over an exchange of texts about the incident.

In the report, Warren County player Devarius Davis initiated contact the night of the game over his unhappiness about what he considered Blount’s lack of intervention in the fight. Blount answered the texts, saying he had nothing to do with the fight. Davis later apologized to Blount through Facebook and text.

Both teams also claimed the other was more at fault for the verbal confrontation at Washington-Wilkes the week before the fight. Some Warren County players and coaches traveled to the game to watch Hancock Central play. Antonio Simmons was arrested in the incident. The GBI report said Simmons was not affiliated with either team.

As for the fight the next week, both teams say the other one was to blame for the brawl, arguing self-defense. Both teams also say the other threw the first helmet.

Other discrepancies in the report include those involving law enforcement officers.

Warren County High School Principal Kaveous Preston said a Hancock County deputy yelled at him and removed his “billy club” as Preston approached. Hancock County Schools Police Chief Glen Ingram and deputy Patrick Williams deny they or anyone else drew a baton against Preston.

Warren County also alleged its team was specifically targeted by the deputies’ pepper spray. Law enforcement denies this, and Hancock Central players say they were sprayed, too.

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Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 02/11/12 - 06:26 pm
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Who would want to play

Who would want to play either of these teams?

Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 02/11/12 - 07:22 pm
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It ain't over.

It ain't over.

nothin2show4it
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nothin2show4it 02/11/12 - 09:18 pm
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I'm not choosing sides but
Unpublished

I'm not choosing sides but who locked who out? Duh!!!!

maddhatter
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maddhatter 02/11/12 - 09:19 pm
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Coach Daniel never raised a

Coach Daniel never raised a hand against a player except to get his player who had already been hit, out of harms way. There are so many out and out lies in this situation that the truth is almost impossible to shine through. At the same time, what type of judicial system puts members of the school in question on the very Grand Jury that is supposed to be looking for fault? And when the person who hit the coach is alleged to be the nephew of the Sparta police chief, how does any one expect fairness and truth. The truth is that Coach Daniel will live the rest of his life in pain due to trying to help his players who were in harms way. And where were the Sparta coaches? They were still on the field and not with their players. Lack of supervision was the cause of this and nothing else.

David Parker
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David Parker 02/11/12 - 10:44 pm
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just bad blood now. I

just bad blood now. I respect the system and realize there are going to be instances where a judgement will come and one side or the other is going harbor some grievance over it. Too bad football doesn't have a release valve like hockey. Boxing is ideal for it. Things get too dangerous in a group brawl with helmet clubs. This event was a wakeup for coaches to teach more discipline and when they're done, teach more discipline.

Willow Bailey
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Willow Bailey 02/11/12 - 10:52 pm
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maddhatter said "Lack of

maddhatter said "Lack of supervision was the cause of this and nothing else." And I am going to add to that, lack of character. What could be worth causing this kind of harm to others, short of defending the lives of family and country.

juantez
439
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juantez 02/12/12 - 01:15 am
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If Daniel, put his hands on
Unpublished

If Daniel, put his hands on one of those kids they should have beat his but, he was out there acting like a street thug.. Georgia Bureau of Investigation report that he initiated the incident that directly led to his being injured. So Daniel should think long and hard the next time he want to hit someone, there is a price to pay.

ispy4u
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ispy4u 02/12/12 - 12:15 pm
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The coach should press

The coach should press charges againt the little thug(s) and file a civil suit.

HANNIBAL
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HANNIBAL 02/12/12 - 01:55 pm
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Why don't you people just let

Why don't you people just let this go. It was a football fight for God's sake. There were several more in Georgia after this one. After talking to 100 plus people and filing a 12 volume1000 plus page report the GBI could not figure out how this started but you folks can.
As stated in the report, Warren County was not locked. The manager had the key but was on the field doing the "wobble" not opening the door as she told the GBI (The Hancock head coach let them in the locker room because she could not be found.)
Someone please answer these questions for me. If Mrs. Carey saw the whole incident why did she not show up to testify and dispute the young man's claim that the coach hit him first. Also if she was there why was she not affected by the pepper spray as was everyone else who was at the fight.
Not one is willing to say it so I will. The only reason this became a big deal is because Coach Daniels is white. The kids have all moved on so we adults need to as well. The Hancock & Warren kids have been to several parties since this happened with not one incident. Some Warren players have said the Coach Daniels hit the young man but did not want to snitch on the coach. With the lack of discipline that the Warren County team has shown during this year they just might share some of the blame for this incident.

Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 02/12/12 - 04:10 pm
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Hannibal, Don't try to hold

Hannibal,

Don't try to hold your breath until SOS Carey and Coach Daniel let this go.

seenitB4
129038
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seenitB4 02/13/12 - 06:54 am
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I won't hold my breath

I won't hold my breath waiting for the truth to come out.

kiwiinamerica
1115
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kiwiinamerica 02/13/12 - 01:45 pm
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The elephant in the
Unpublished

The elephant in the room........from the article:

"Other discrepancies in the report include those involving law enforcement officers."

Uh-huh. They can't even get a straight story from the cops and they expect to get one from the kids and those actually involved in this mini-riot?

Good luck with that.

Little Lamb
56861
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Little Lamb 02/13/12 - 02:45 pm
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Kiwi posted this at 12:45: -

Kiwi posted this at 12:45:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The elephant in the room........from the article:

"Other discrepancies in the report include those involving law enforcement officers."

Uh-huh. They can't even get a straight story from the cops and they expect to get one from the kids and those actually involved in this mini-riot?

Good luck with that.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I'll offer a comment:

Other discrepancies in the report include those involving law enforcement officers. Warren County High School Principal Kaveous Preston said a Hancock County deputy yelled at him and removed his “billy club” as Preston approached. Hancock County Schools Police Chief Glen Ingram and deputy Patrick Williams deny they or anyone else drew a baton against Preston.

Though these words are those of Wayne Staats, ace Chronicle reporter, they likely are drawn from the GBI report. There is weakness in the sentiments posed in this quote. Let's look at the discrepancy:

First, Warren County principal Preston alleges that a Hancock County deputy removed his billy club as Preston approached the deputy. Okay, that seems clear enough; but the reporter does not make it clear what law enforcement group the deputy works for. Was the deputy a part of the Hancock County Sheriff's office? Or perhaps the City of Sparta Police Department? Or was he a deputy of the Hancock County Schools Police force?

Then when two representatives of the Hancock County Schools Police force say they did not pull billy clubs, we should take them at their word. But it is wrong, wrong, wrong for those two police officers to say under oath to a GBI investigator that no one else drew a baton against Preston. There is no way they could make that statement truthfully, because they do not know every thing. It is quite possible that some law enforcment officer from another agency drew a baton and they did not see it. It was dark, it was confusing, and I'm sure there are lots of things happening that they did not see. Shame on the GBI agent for weak investigative techniques in accepting that statement without further questioning.

The GBI did an incompetent investigation. But, what can you do? The GBI is at the very top of law enforcement in this state. They answer to no one. They are accountable to no one.

In any case, Hancock County Schools Police Chief Glen Ingram and deputy Patrick Williams should have been helping break up the fight rather than just standing around watching, as their statement seems to suggest.

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