VILLA PARK (CBSLA.com) — A 26-year-old high school wrestling coach has been arrested for allegedly attacking a student, rendering him unconscious, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.
Emmanuel Hugo Hernandez, of Orange, was taken into custody Wednesday for felony battery on a member of the Villa Park High School wrestling team.
According to authorities, Hernandez grabbed an unidentified boy during wrestling practice and put him in “unauthorized choke hold” until the teen passed out.
“Immediately following the student victim being rendered unconscious, Hernandez punched the victim several times in the head causing visible injury near the right ear,” Lt. Jeff Hallock said.
Hernandez left the school’s campus following the assault.
“The victim was transported and treated at a local hospital,” Lt. Hallock said.
KCAL9’s Jeff Nguyen spoke to a witness to the alleged assault who did not want his face shown or his name revealed.
“First, when he got him in the choke lock it was pretty bad because he was choking him pretty bad,” the student said. “It was like, ‘Ay, chill…chill.’ And then boom — takes him down and punches him. We were like, ‘What’s going on?’ Is this for real?'”
The witness also told Nguyen the coach is about 100 pounds heavier than the student he was alleged to have assaulted.
The student believes he know what let to the alleged attack.
“I think he elbowed [the coach] in the stomach when they were wrestling, practicing and he took offense,” said the witness.
The school district released a statement Thursday.
“Mr Hernandez has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the district’s investigation of the incident,” the statement read.
“Just because you’re a coach doesn’t give you the right to treat somebody, some kid wrong like that. Pretty bad,” said the student.
Hernandez is being held at the Orange County Jail on $100,000 bail. He is expected to be back in court on Friday.