Posted: 11:35 am Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Former Benjamin football player Sam Faria’s trial to start May 24 

By Jason Lieser

EDITOR’S NOTE: The charges against former Benjamin School student-athlete Sam Faria were reduced from felony battery and adjudication was withheld after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery in June 2010. Faria was sentenced to community service for the charges related to a 2009 incident with an assistant football coach.

Sam Faria, a former Benjamin football player, is scheduled to begin his trial May 24th, the State Attorney’s Office said. He is accused of punching former assistant coach Thomas Flynn in the face and breaking his nose.

The trial has been delayed multiple times and could be pushed back again.

Palm Beach Gardens police arrested Faria, 17, on Oct. 19 and charged him with aggravated battery.

Flynn, then 52, resigned after the alleged incident and Benjamin coach Ron Ream suspended Faria from the team.

Faria is accused of punching Flynn during the Buccaneers’ game against King’s Academy on Oct. 9.

When Ream initially suspended Faria, information surfaced indicating that Ream had physically disciplined Faria during a Sept. 30 practice.

The Benjamin School forced Ream to resign, then reinstated him a week later amid an outpouring of support for Ream from the community.

According to the original probable cause affidavit, the incident occurred after coaches removed the player from the game. Assistant coach Dave Parks told police Flynn “attempted to grab (Faria’s) jersey,” to get his attention and speak with him. Then, Flynn told police, Faria punched Flynn in the face five or six times.

The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department also said two of its officers met with Juno Beach police and went to Faria’s home. When they asked him if he knew why they were there, Faria responded, “for assaulting my coach,” the report said.