Fred Freeman, Wisconsin basketball coach, allegedly beats up female player, 17, after loss

Freeman didn't handle losing well, to say the least.
Freeman didn't handle losing well, to say the least.

Talk about taking youth sports way too seriously.

Fred Freeman, a 47-year-old basketball coach from Hartford, Wisconsin, faces a misdemeanor battery charge after he allegedly beat up one of his own players, a 17-year-old girl from Milwaukee, after his team lost a tournament game yesterday in Fishers, Indiana.

Freeman's own daughter watched the assault and begged her father to stop, police say.

Jean Washington, a parent from another team who witnessed the incident, told police she saw "the suspect... [grab] the victim tightly around her torso, [then] start to punch the victim."

"The two fell to the ground, and the victim continued to resist the suspect," police, paraphrasing Washington's account, said in a criminal complaint. "The suspect and victim made it back to their feet, and the suspect grabbed the victim again and slammed her back into the ground."

At that point, the coach's daughter sought to intervene, police say.

"Ms. Washington observed the suspect's daughter yelling, 'No, Daddy.' The suspect then got up and threw the victim's [tournament] badge into [a] tree... Washington then escorted the victim back inside the building as the suspect left the area with the other team members."

The Associated Press reports that Freeman "punched [the victim] in the face" and "put his hands around her throat."

Following the alleged assault, Freeman apparently carried on as if it were no big deal and went to a restaurant to get a bite to eat with his players. But witnesses who saw the incident called police, and officers said the victim had scratches and abrasions on her skin consistent with witness accounts.

Police then went to the restaurant where Freeman was eating. He admitted to "restraining" the girl, but said she attacked him first. Witnesses and parents, however, reported that Freeman was the aggressor, and he was hauled to jail. He was released on his own recognizance today.

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