RICHLANDS, WV (WVNS) — After a viral video made its rounds across social media, a Virginia high school basketball coach was charged with assault.
According to the Richlands Police Department, during the Virginia High School League’s semi-final girls basketball game between Richlands and Wise Central, a incident between the girls head coach and a fan in the crowd led Richlands Police Department to launch an investigation.
The game, which occurred on February 23, 2023, ended with a physical brawl between the girls head coach and a fan leading to a complaint of assault being made to the Richlands Police Department.
After reviewing video evidence, gathering witness reports and interviewing the involved parties, Tom Rife of Cedar Bluff, Virginia, was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery. Rife is currently waiting for a trial date.
“Upon reviewing the video evidence and speaking with witnesses who were present during the incident at Richlands High School, I would be remiss if I did not commend the Officers who were providing security for the tournament. Both on-duty uniformed patrol, and plain clothed investigators immediately took action to deescalate a very difficult situation. Their professionalism and commitment to the safety of the students, athletes and members of the community are appreciated by our department. Regarding the investigation, we approached it in the same manner we conduct all our investigations at the Richlands Police Department; through a fair and impartial process aimed at only finding facts and working with our Commonwealth’s Attorney to keep the peace and administering justice. We feel like the end result of the investigation conducted by Captain Crouse accomplished that”.Richlands Police Chief Ron Holt