ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico youth soccer league is investigating allegations that parents yelled racial slurs at Hispanic girl soccer players and an adult parent physically assaulted one of the girls during a game that turned violent.
The Duke City Soccer League said Tuesday it’s looking into reports that a White man choked and groped a 14-year-old Hispanic female player following a match Saturday in Bernalillo, New Mexico, that spectators say was filled with racial tensions.
“All throughout the game, the parents were calling the players things like ‘dirty Mexicans,’ and other stuff I can’t even repeat,” Garcia said.
After an Alameda 99 player pushed a Rio Galaxy player and two Rio Galaxy players jumped the Alameda 99 girl and a melee broke out, she said. Video of the fight submitted to the league for review shows two Rio Galaxy girls attacking the Alameda 99 player before a parent is seen running onto the field.
It is illegal in New Mexico for parents to run onto the field during a youth sports event, said Luis Robles, a lawyer who heads Duke City Soccer League disciplinary department.
During the confusion as referees and parents tried to separate the girls, a parent from the opposing team Rio Galaxy ran onto the field, grabbed an Alameda player and chocked her after the players’ brawl broke out, Garcia said.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Garcia said.
Aracely “Arcie” Chapa, a parent of two Alameda 99 players, said in a statement that she saw a 300-pound (136-kilogram) man wrapping his arm around the girl’s chest while snapping her neck back and holding her in a tight vice.
After the girl’s father freed her from the man’s grip, Chapa said she heard to the man tell the father, “Oh yea, I touched your daughter all right.”
Rio Galaxy players bragged about their role in the fight and the man who allegedly attacked one their opponents on Snapchat posts submitted to the league for review. On one Snap Chat video, a Rio Galaxy player after the fight is heard asking, “does anyone have the number for ICE” — a reference to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Kokulis said he didn’t hear any racial slurs directed at the Alameda 99 team from parents but his players reported to him that their opponents used anti-white epithets.
The league suspended both teams for a game.
Santa Ana Pueblo Police were called to the scene since the melee occurred on tribal land but no arrests were made. Santa Ana Pueblo police have not returned repeated phone messages from The Associated Press.
Robles said the league is reviewing all the evidence and will make a judgment about any allegation of physical assault or child abuse independent of law enforcement. The parent could be banned from soccer games for life, he said.
Associated Press writers Russell Contreras is a member of the AP’s race and ethnicity team. Follow Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras