A Virginia father was arrested after allegedly using a metal water bottle to attack his son’s youth soccer coach during a game over the weekend.
Blerand Hxoha, 45, was charged with malicious wounding after allegedly striking the coach’s face multiple times during the soccer match at George Hellwig Memorial Park in the city of Manassas on Saturday, leaving the coach with a black eye and swollen face, FOX 5 DC reported. Hoxha is being held in jail without bail.
Coach Vince Villanueva said he is unsure why Hxoha attacked him, but recalled that the team was losing pretty badly when he was knocked out.
“The father went over to talk to the son and then when I went to get him and put him back in the game, I said ‘Are you okay?’ And he said, ‘No he’s not,’ and he said, ‘Coach can I talk to you?’ And then everything went downhill from there,” Villanueva told FOX 5.
Villanueva said he was filling in for a friend for a boys’ team scrimmage with the Northern Virginia Soccer Club and that he had never met Hxoha or his son before. Villanueva is the Potomac Senior High School girls’ varsity team head coach and said he never experienced this level of violence on the field during his decades of coaching.
Some off-duty police officers were at the game on Saturday, and they were able to move the kids to a safe space and calm the situation down, Villanueva said.
One of his eyes was still bloodshot, swollen and bruised on Monday, and he had cuts on his nose and face.
Villanueva encouraged parents to allow their children to have fun on the field instead of creating a stressful environment by taking issue with a coach’s decisions.
“Allow them to do their job and just make it a fun environment for them,” he said. “Kids have enough stress in life with everything else in the world, but allow them to have that moment of someplace to escape from.”