Friday, May 24, 2013
OAKLAND – Wes Littlefield, the former high school football coach charged with assault, struck the player on the helmet with "huge force," according to the player's lawyer.
Wes Littlefield resigned as Messalonskee High School's head football coach on Sept. 20, days before he was charged with assault.
On Monday, Walter McKee, representing the family of the 17-year-old player who was allegedly assaulted, released a description of the event that led to criminal charges against the former Messalonskee High School football coach.
According to McKee, the blow, delivered with the heel of the hand, was powerful enough to unsnap three of four buckles on the player's helmet.
"The helmet completely turned around so that the player could not even see," McKee said in an email.
McKee's account of the blow, which took place during a practice on Sept. 19, is different from the account offered by Littlefield's attorney, Jason Jabar.
Jabar said after Littlefield was charged that the contact could be considered ordinary in the context of a coach teaching his players.
Littlefield, 44, resigned as head coach on Sept. 20, days before he was charged.
McKee said that he was hired by the family of the victim in response to public statements from Littlefield and his attorney that minimized the contact.
In the days following the incident, Littlefield characterized it as "a little incident with a kid that was blown out of proportion," and Jabar said that the contact did not hurt the player, knock him down or break his facemask.
McKee said there has been no discussions between himself and the victim's family about a possible civil suit.
Jabar has said he thinks the district attorney's office should not move forward with the charges.
If prosecutors do decide to move forward, the case will be heard in Waterville District Court on Nov. 20.
Prosecutors were unavailable for comment, but Capt. Rick Stubbert of the Oakland Police Department said that it's likely he would have heard by now if the charge was not going to court.
According to Maine's criminal code, assault occurs when "the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury or offensive physical contact to another person."
Assault is a class D misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $10,000 fine. The minimum penalty is a $300 fine.
Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Matt Hongoltz-Hetling can be contacted at 861-9287 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org