Muskogee High School assistant coach Pete Richardson is accused of punching a student in the stomach after “another kid was talking back and he thought it was … him,” according to a source close to the student.
Richardson is listed on the district’s web site as only a “class monitor,” though the district has confirmed he is an assistant coach.
The district also said the “incident” occurred during football practice and Richardson (who the district does not identify by name) “placed his hands on a student-athlete”.
Asked whether the police were informed of the incident, the district responded “Law enforcement was not informed of the incident because it was not deemed an assault or an endangerment to the student-athlete.”
Oklahoma law defines assault as an intentional attempt or threat of force or violence against another person (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 641). Assault and battery is defined as the intentional and unlawful use of force or violence against another (Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 642). Both carry potential prison time as penalties. According to the statute, even raising a hand as if to strike is enough to constitute assault.
The schools stated that the assistant coach is currently on administrative leave while the situation is being investigated and “appropriate disciplinary action” will be taken against the employee.