Wednesday, July 20, 2005




NORTH UNION TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A T-ball coach seeking to keep a player with a mental disability off the field allegedly asked another player to hurt the boy, state police said Friday.
The alleged incident happened June 27 at R.W. Clark Little League Field in North Union Township, Fayette County, police said.

During pre-game warmups, Mark Reed Downs Jr. offered one of his players $25 to hit the 8-year-old boy in the head with a baseball, according to a police news release.

After speaking with Downs, the second player hit the victim near his left ear and in the groin area, leaving him unable to play in that night's game, state police said.

"The coach seemed to find excuses not to play this child because he wasn't that talented,"

Trooper Thomas Broadwater told Channel 4 Action News. "On the 27th, the child was basically beaned in the head with a baseball."

The injured boy's mother was suspicious, so she approached the player who threw the ball and he told her about the payment offer, Broadwater said.


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