‘Need … to Pay for What He Did’: Video Shows Michigan Coach Sneaking Up Behind Teen Before Choking Him with T-Shirt In Hallway; Outraged Parents Demand Charges

The parents of a 14-year-old boy are demanding that a Michigan middle school coach be charged with assault after he was caught on surveillance video choking their son with a shirt.

“I need this man to pay for what he did to my son, and if that means being fired, losing his job, sitting in jail, I need him to know what he did was wrong,” Steve Moon told WXYZ-TV.

Surveillance footage from Ypsilanti Community Middle School showed the attack from last week. The coach was seen taking off his shirt, winding it up with his wrists, then approaching 14-year-old Michael Moon from behind and choking him.

Surveillance Video Shows Middle School Coach Choking 14-Year-Old Boy With T-Shirt, Parents Demand Assault Charges
Video screenshot shows a Ypsilanti Community Middle School coach choking a student. (Photo: YouTube screenshot/13 On Your Side)

The video shows the teen struggling for about 20 seconds, losing color in his face, and then managing to break free from the coach’s grip.

The teen’s parents said their son suffered injuries to his neck and has refused to return to school since the incident.

“I was angry,” Steve Moon said. “I said if he can do that to Michael, I’d like to see him try to do that to me.”

Michael told his parents that the coach saw him horsing around in the hallway and told him to do some pushups. Michael said he couldn’t because he had injured his hand. His mother confirmed that he had suffered a hand injury, and surveillance video showed Michael showing the coach his hands before he walked away.

That’s when the coach followed him and attacked him.

“I was horrified. It made me lose trust in the school system,” Michael’s mother, Yolanda Ellis, told WXYZ-TV. “It also made me lose trust in that coach because he was someone that Michael looked up to.”

Ellis tried to get a copy of the surveillance footage from the school, but officials denied her request. The family received the footage later from police.

The school superintendent sent a letter to parents but did not identify the coach or release details about what happened. Officials only confirmed a “serious incident” and that the coach was fired and banned from the school grounds.

“We are committed to fully cooperating with the involved authorities,” the letter read, according to Fox 2 Detroit. “Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation and the involvement of a student, we are unable to provide specific details.”

The coach isn’t facing any criminal charges at this time, but Michael’s parents have filed a police report. The family’s attorney stated he is currently conducting his own investigation into the incident.

“We will simultaneously watch what the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office does to the school official that assaulted him, and we’re open to having a dialog with the school to make sure this doesn’t happen again, that there’s accountability,” attorney Jordan Vahdat said.

Ypsilanti Community Middle School is located in Ypsilanti, Michigan, which is about 35 miles outside Detroit.

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