INDIANAPOLIS – In her 32 years running the Indianapolis Sports Park, Helga Scaringe had never seen anything quite like this.
The head coach of the Cincy Flames U13 team grabbed a bat and ran out of the team’s dugout. A video of the moment went viral.
The coach is seen in the video headed for a parent who was cheering for the other team. Scaringe said the parent had been drinking and being antagonistic for some time before the confrontation.
Several parents and ISP managers kept the two from meeting and exchanging anything more than muzzled shouts.
“Are you ever really prepared for something like that? I don’t know,” Scaringe told IndyStar. “I have groundskeepers, umpires and managers always around, but I don’t think you really expect this.”
Head coach Paul Melvin declined to comment to IndyStar but explained his actions in an email to a USSSA executive.
“First and foremost as my post stated I am sincerely sorry for my own actions,” Melvin wrote in an email Monday to Dennis Dick, a director for the Ohio affiliate of USSSA. “My retaliation in the manner to being called (an obscenity), being told to go home and many other comments from the other teams parent (name redacted) does not warrant my actions.”
Melvin went on to write: “In the end I hope my team and my kid is not punished. Me on the other hand deserves whatever you decide. I am sorry to my family, my team, my parents, usssa, Indy sports park and the fans and God above.”
The child of the belligerent parent used to play for Melvin , Scaringe said. Even after police were called to the scene and the parent was asked to leave, she said the parent was confrontational. Eventually, he reluctantly retreated across the street to a nearby church.
The IMPD released a statement about the incident: “Officers were dispatched but only one of the involved was located and did not want a report. The other half had left the scene. Appeared to have been a disturbance with a heated exchange, but nothing further.”
Melvin, according to a tweet from the team, was let go after the incident. Scaringe said everyone involved is permanently banned from the park.