By Miguel A. Melendez Staff Writer
The Burbank Police Department is reviewing the conduct of a Burbank High School assistant football coach who allegedly put his hands on an Arcadia football player after a scuffle broke out between the teams in a 48-20 Apaches victory Friday.
Burbank assistant coach Stone Wall was fired by Burbank head coach Hector Valencia for allegedly grabbing Arcadia’s Taylor Lagace during a scuffle with Burbank player Quortney Brazier, which spilled over to the Burbank sideline.
No formal charges have been filed, but Burbank police were called to the scene Friday.
“We’ll look into it regardless of what the parents’ wishes are, because it involves a minor and an adult,” Burbank Police Sgt. Travis Irving said. “We are looking out for the safety of the juvenile. A miscellaneous report will get reviewed by detectives.
“I don’t know if they’ll do a follow-up, but if they determine there’s something criminal, they’ll take it to the city attorney’s office.”
In a story published by the Los Angeles Daily News on Saturday, Valencia said Wall was fired for putting his hands on an opposing player.
Valencia said Wall was trying to break up a fight between Burbank’s Brazier and Arcadia’s Lagace.
“It wasn’t like (Wall) threw a punch, but he pushed Lagace off Brazier, and obviously that’s inappropriate,” Valencia said. “What he should have done was pull our guy away. It looked bad, and I had to let (Wall) go. … It was a tough night.”
Both players were ejected from the game.
“All I know is one of the (Burbank) coaches inappropriately grabbed my kid,” Arcadia coach Jon Dimalante said. “I can’t accept that.”
Dimalante added that during film review, he saw “that (Brazier) just kept grabbing him (Lagace) by the face mask, pulling him down.”
There’s no word on whether the Lagace family will file charges against Wall.
Valencia also told the Daily News that Lagace punched Brazier in the face and that Brazier had a black eye Saturday.
Dimalante, however, refuted that report.
“He wasn’t throwing any punches,” Dimalante said. “The kid had a helmet on, so I don’t know how that black eye happened.
“After halftime he (Valencia) came over to apologize. He said I had every right to be upset and that his coach was fired and will never coach at Burbank again; that he had already been sent home. He apologized to Lagace for that through me.”
Lagace’s ejection from the game results in an automatic one-game suspension.
He’ll sit out Friday’s game against Hoover, and per CIF-Southern Section rules, Lagace is not allowed on the sidelines or anywhere on campus during the game.
Players who left the sidelines during Friday’s scuffle also are subject to suspension, but CIF-SS spokesman Thom Simmons said that’s handled on a case-by-case basis.
Rob Wigod, the CIF-SS assistant commissioner in charge of football, is out of the office until Wednesday, which means a report, if filed, was submitted but has yet to be reviewed by CIF.
“As of right now we don’t have anything,” Simmons said. “I don’t suspect we’d entertain anything that has to do with this until Rob (Wigod) gets back.
“If we get information that would lead us to look at film and bring the two schools in, we’ll do that, but right now we’re not there.”