A Mater Dei High School student athlete suffered a broken jaw in an attack orchestrated by a classmate and carried out by two football players who repeatedly punched him in the head and face, according to a lawsuit filed by the Orange County Superior Court.
The details of the assault, detailed in a lawsuit in May and first reported this week, follow weeks of controversy over the behavior of players and adults involved in the storied Santa Ana football program. A lawsuit filed late last month accused the school of a hazing culture after a violent altercation in the locker room in which a new player suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Mater Dei, the consensus No. 1 team in the nation, will face San Mateo Serra in the state championship on Saturday.
The lawsuit over the broken jaw of the athletes was first reported by the Orange County Registry. The complaint describes a 2019 orchestrated attack planned by a Mater Dei student who mistakenly believed a basketball player had shared an embarrassing video of him online.
The student tracked down the basketball player one Sunday night through mutual friends who hung out with him in Irvine, the lawsuit said. The student shared the address with two football players, intending to use their physical strength and presence to intimidate and hurt the player, the lawsuit said.
As the basketball player walked to his Uber, the football players confronted him on the front lawn and hit him in the back of the head, the indictment said. They then repeatedly hit him on the head and face, causing him to fall to the ground, leaving him disoriented, the lawsuit said.
The basketball player was left with a broken jaw and serious injuries to the back of his head, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit names the two players accused of committing the assault a linebacker and a defensive lineman for Mater Dei, as well as the classmate accused of planning it. The Times does not name them or the student who filed the lawsuit, as they were minors at the time of the alleged attack.
David Nisson, a lawyer representing the two footballers, said he was unable to discuss details because they were minors. But he wrote in a lawsuit in September that the basketball player had consumed an excessive amount of alcohol, rendering him unable to ensure the safety of himself or others at the time of the alleged incident.
Nisson also wrote on file that his clients acted in self-defense after the basketball player allegedly sent a mob to attack them and that they used only the minimal force necessary to defend themselves from an attacking mob they believed they wanted. kill them.
Mater Dei and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange are not named as parties to the lawsuit. Mater Dei’s president, Father Walter Jenkins, did not respond to an email asking for comment.
Mater Dei is still grappling with the fallout from the lawsuit filed late last month that accused the school and the diocese of negligence, violation of California’s anti-hazing laws and inflicting emotional distress.
The complaint, filed by the family of a former football player, described a culture of hazing and a stern, cutthroat attitude at an institution that protects its storied athletic reputation at all costs.
The student’s injury stemmed from a Feb. 4 fight with Bodies, in which two players go head-to-head and punch each other in the torso until one player can’t take it anymore and gives up, the lawsuit said. The student, a junior who joined the team last fall, agreed to participate in an effort to fit in and show he was strong enough, according to the indictment.
During the fight, the student was repeatedly hit in the head by a larger player, the lawsuit said. After that, the students’ teammates followed him to a bathroom and warned not to betray him, the lawsuit said.
When an athletic trainer finally examined the students’ injuries, he said he slammed his face on a sink. The lawsuit alleges that the trainer did not seek medical attention and did not contact the plaintiffs’ parents for 90 minutes.
The school has said it will hire an outside company to conduct an independent investigation into the incident.
Orange County Dist. atty. Todd Spitzer said last week that his office had not filed any criminal charges in the locker room brawl because there was no evidence of hazing or any other crime that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. His opponent in next year’s election has called for an investigation into child endangerment of Mater Dei football coach Bruce Rollinson.
Days after the lawsuit was filed, the Monarchs won the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Championship. When asked about roller coaster week, Rollinson said: I just won a CIF championship. It doesn’t get any better than that.
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