By Michael Slother - email
MORTON, TX (KCBD) - Investigators say they will seek a felony charge against a Morton ISD coach accused of assaulting a student. KCBD NewsChannel 11 brought you Nathaniel Hernandez's exclusive story yesterday and Wednesday we heard from a second student who says the coach hurt him that same day.
We confirmed with Cochran County Sheriff Wallace Stalcup that there was a second report of misconduct by the coach on Monday, and Wednesday that student shared his story with us.
Like Nathaniel Hernandez, Alan Lopez is also a 12-year-old 6th grader at Morton Junior High. He too says an altercation took place after he refused to clean up a mess. "My friend Andrew dropped my juice, the coach wanted me to pick it up, and I said ‘why should I pick it up when he was the one that dropped it?'"
"I was being disrespectful," Lopez admitted.
He says an altercation also took place in the field house and escalated when he didn't clean up the juice. It's similar to the story Hernandez told us Tuesday, when he says Rives hurt him after he refused to clean-up a different mess.
"He picked me up and slammed me and choked me," said Lopez. Lopez claims he was hit and that things didn't stop after that. "He took me to the medical room and he locked me in there and I tried to get out."
Lopez eventually got out and gave a statement to the principal. His mother says she reported the incident to the sheriff's office. We asked Sheriff Stalcup about the second allegation. "It was kind of on-going with more than one person involved."
We asked if we could confirm that there were two separate allegations brought forth on Monday against Rives. Stalcup replied, "yes."
Sheriff Stalcup says cameras recorded the events. "We do have videotapes and also have video off of a phone," he said.
Lopez said one of his friends in the room recorded the video on his phone; it's now in authorities' possession as evidence. "He [a friend] recorded it on his phone and it showed him slamming me and how he [coach] had Nathaniel [Hernandez]," Lopez said.
Until Monday, Stalcup said he's never had any other claims against Coach Rives, a former Texas Tech and NFL football player. "Actually, Coach Rives is pretty highly thought of in the community," he told us.
As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made. Stalcup said he turned over all evidence to their District Attorney in Levelland; with a recommendation for a charge of injury to a child. Stalcup said injury to a child under the age of 14 by an adult is a third degree felony.
"We have placed the evidence in his [District Attorney's] hands; that we believe is enough evidence for the filing of charges," he said.
Lopez said he knows he should have been more respectful, but wishes things were handled differently. "He had the right to send me somewhere, but he didn't have the right to slap me," Lopez said.
We contacted Morton ISD's Superintendent after learning of the sheriff's recommendation to file a charge with the District Attorney. The superintendent said she's close to being finished with her statement. We tried to contact Rives on his last known cell phone number, but a woman answered that phone and said Rives no longer had that number. Again, no arrests have been made, but Rives is still on administrative leave.
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