Posted: 2:02 pm Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Benjamin player who allegedly struck coach arrested 

By Jason Lieser

Palm Beach Gardens police arrested the Benjamin football player who allegedly punched a volunteer assistant coach in the face during a game. The player, who is a minor, was taken into custody on aggravated battery charges Monday night.

Benjamin head coach and athletic director Ron Ream said the player was released Tuesday after a hearing at the downtown West Palm Beach courthouse.

The player has been in the middle of the recent controversy surrounding Ream.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the player hit assistant coach Thomas Flynn, 52, during the third quarter of Benjamin’s game against King’s Academy on Oct. 9.

The altercation took place after coaches removed the player from the game. Assistant coach Dave Parks told officers Flynn had “attempted to grab (the player’s) jersey,” to get his attention and speak with him. Then, Flynn told police, the player punched Flynn in the face five or six times.

Flynn went to Jupiter Medical Center and was treated for a broken nose, the probable cause affidavit said.

Flynn stepped down and the player has been suspended indefinitely from the football team.

There was a prior physical incident between the player and Ream during a Sept. 30 practice. Ream said Tuesday he took hold of the player by his jersey with both hands and pulled him upright in a disciplinary fashion. Ream was reprimanded and thought the issue was resolved, but it resurfaced after the altercation in the Oct. 9 game.

The Benjamin School Board of Trustees asked Ream to resign last Thursday, but reinstated him Monday. He rejoined the team for Tuesday’s practice.

Flynn declined comment via e-mail Wednesday.