West Bloomfield Student Charged with Assault and Battery for Striking Coach

Incident stemmed from controversial finish at West Bloomfield/Stoney Creek football game.

The West Bloomfield High School student responsible for striking a 66-year-old Stoney Creek football coach on the field Friday night was charged with assault and battery Thursday morning, according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office (OCSO).

The student will be given a court date in Oakland County Probate Court.

Capt. Michael Johnson, commander of the Rochester Hills substation for the OCSO, said that the student, 16, is a player on the football team who approached a Stoney Creek assistant coach after the game was over and punched the coach in the jaw, knocking him unconscious.

The coach was identified by Rochester Community Schools as Harold "Buzz" Zube, the father of varsity head coach Brad Zube, who was helping to coach the varsity Cougars during the 50-28 Homecoming night win over its Oakland Activities Association Red division rivals.

Johnson continued that the student, whom Patch has not named, was released to his parents that night after being arrested on the field. 

According to a statement released Monday by the West Bloomfield School District signed by Superintendent Gerald Hill, the student was suspended in accordance with consequences of violating district policy after the incident.

"This incident involved the actions of one student only and not the team. The remainder of the West Bloomfield Lakers football team behaved appropriately," according to the statement.

The student remained suspended from school on Thursday, however, district officials offered no comment as to further disciplinary action. 

Divisive incident

Phil Sacha, a Lakers defensive assistant coach, was fired from the team after the incident by head coach Ron Bellamy. WBHS athletic director Pat Watson would not comment why, but Sacha, a 25-year-old Commerce resident, took to Facebook on Sunday to explain that Bellamy fired him as a result of disagreeing opinions.

"West Bloomfield players, I wish you best of luck the rest or the season, but Coach Bellamy has decided to let me go from my coaching position, because I don't agree with a lot of what has happened this season," Sacha wrote on his Facebook page, which is public.

"Thanks again guys, sorry a bunch of know nothing adults had to ruin your senior season."

Patch sent a private message to Sacha; it was not returned.

Video footage filmed for football purposes and shown to Patch Tuesday shows clearly the escalation of the incident beginning after an onside kick play with six seconds left in the game.

Video shows coach Brad Zube walking an estimated 15 yards from the home sideline after the kick, which did not appear to result in a penalty on either side.

Shortly thereafter, it appears that Zube ordered the team off of the field. A public address broadcaster can be heard explaining that the game was ruled as completed.

Video shows that after the Stoney Creek team exited the field, its coaching staff remained. Zube can be seen being restrained by other members of the Cougars coaching staff during an apparent argument.

The student can then be seen running into the fray and striking "Buzz" Zube, who fell to the field and almost immediately leapt to his feet. 

The West Bloomfield School District's spokesperson Pam Zajac said Monday that the Lakers crossing the field and coming into contact with the Stoney Creek coaching staff was necessary in order for the team to leave.

"The Stoney Creek stadium is designed so that the only way for the opposing team to exit the field is to cross the field and exit up through the student section," Zajac said. "Crossing the field and coming into contact with their coaching staff only occurred because the team was attempting to exit the field."

Rochester Schools released a statement Monday explaining that Zube was fine after being tended to by team trainers.

The statement continued that an internal investigation is under way and that the school district is working with West Bloomfield administrators to find out what happened.

Any results from the investigation were unknown on Thursday.

Timothy Rath October 12, 2012 at 08:30 PM
WB Resident: 'Unconscious' in the third paragraph of this story is attributed to Capt. Johnson. Later in the story, I reported on what I saw on video. To be fair, what I saw on video is not the complete story of what happened.
Linda October 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM
You are absolutely right, and I couldn't agree more that the team, school and community should not be judged on the unfortunate choice of one person. I'm sure that he regrets his actions more than any of us could possibly know. I hope that when these two teams face each other in the future we can do it in the spirit of good-sportsmanship and put all of this behind us. As adults we have the opportunity to set a positive example for our children.
Diane White October 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I can't believe you parents are trying to justify the actions of a 16 yrs old boy knocking a 67 year old man unconcious. I don't care what happen in the stands. There is never an excuse for someone to put there hands on another. If this is what your teaching your children get the bail money ready. Still making an excuse. A coach didn't hit a coach. A student hit a coach. A senior man, trying to help young boys. Again get the bail money ready
Linda October 24, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Diane, I think you misunderstand my remarks. I am not attempting to justify the actions of this one boy in any way. I simply wanted to state that the school and community of West Bloomfield should not be villified for the actions of one student. His actions were inexcusable in every way. I couldn't agree more that there is never room for this type of behavior in any situation. My son was sitting in the stands and was a witness to the event. He arrived home horrified by what he had seen. He was shocked and disgusted by the sudden turn of events and terrifically worried about Coach Zube, as we all were. My earlier comments were meant to convey a message of peace between our schools so that when we meet again for any event there is no lingering animosity that could lead to further altercations. I have taught my children that it is NEVER acceptable to behave the way this young man did and am happy to report that they have always behaved appropriately and as gentlemen. I am also happy to report that I am investing in their college funds, not in bail money. I am very proud of my children and the fine, gentle young men that they are.
Diane White October 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Thank you Linda for the Clarification.


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