ALBUQUERQUE, N. M. – A New Mexico youth soccer league is investigating allegations that parents shouted racist remarks at the Hispanic girl soccer players and an adult older physical violence one of the girls during a game that turned violent.
The Duke City Soccer League said Tuesday looking into reports that a white man choked and groped a 14-year-old Hispanic female player after a game Saturday in Bernalillo, New Mexico, that the spectators say that was filled with racial tensions.
Ana Garcia, the coach of the Alameda-99, of a largely Latina under-19 team, said the melee began after her players experienced racial taunting during an intense 3-3 game with Rio Galaxy — one of the city’s elite soccer clubs in the Albuquerque area.
“All throughout the game, the parents were calling the players things like” dirty Mexicans, ” and other things that I can’t even repeat,” Garcia said.
After an Alameda 99 player pushed a Rio Galaxy player and two Rio Galaxy players jump the Alameda 99 girl and a melee broke out, ” she said. Video of the fight submitted to the league for review provides two Rio Galaxy girls attack on the Alameda 99 player for a parent is seen running on the field.
It is banned in New Mexico for parents to run on the field during a youth sporting event, said Luis Robles, an attorney who is the head of Duke City Soccer League disciplinary department.
During the confusion of the referees and parents tried to separate the girls, a parent of the opposing team Rio Galaxy ran onto the field, picked up an Alameda player and shocked her after the players brawl broke out, Garcia said.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw,” Garcia said.
Aracely “Arcie” Chapa, a parent of two Alameda 99 players, said in a statement that they saw a 300-pound (136-kilogram) man put his arm around the girl’s chest, while snapping her neck back and holds her in a tight vice.
After the girl’s father freed her from the man’s grip, Chapa said she heard the man told the father, “Oh yes, I touched your daughter.”
Rio Galaxy players bragged about their role in the battle, and the man who allegedly attacked one of their opponents on Snapchat messages that will be submitted to the league for review. On one Module, Chat video, a Rio Galaxy player after the battle is heard the question, “who has the number ICE” — a reference to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Rio Galaxy coach Steve Kokulis said he saw parents walk onto the field, but he saw no parent block or attack a player. “Not from where I stood,” Kokulis said. “Things get out of hand. It was a pity, because it was a good game.”
Kokulis said he heard no racist comments aimed at the Alameda 99 team of 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 the tribal lands, 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 the evidence and making a decision about an allegation of physical abuse or sexual abuse regardless of the enforcement of the law. The parent could be banned from football for life, ” he said.
Associated Press writers Russell Contreras is a member of the AP of race and ethnicity team. Follow Contreras on Twitter http://twitter.com/russcontreras