Coach, mother file charges after fight

February 02, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- A North Hagerstown High School track coach and the mother of a team member have filed second-degree assault charges against each other following an altercation at the school Thursday afternoon, a fight that both women acknowledge turned physical.

The women, Myra Nazreth, the mother of a North High student, and Sarina Hamilton, the coach, filed charges against each other through the Washington County District Court Commissioner's office.

In cases involving alleged misdemeanors, where a law enforcement officer does not witness the incident, police may advise those involved to file charges with the Washington County District Court Commissioner's office.

Nazreth filed charges at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Hamilton filed charges at 8:24 p.m. the same day.

Nazreth's daughter called her, crying, during practice after school that day and said that Hamilton was making her run even though the girl was dizzy, charging documents allege.


Nazreth wrote in charging documents that she went to the school and confronted Hamilton, demanding to know why she was making her daughter run even though she was dizzy.

At one point, Nazreth wrote, she threw a track uniform at Hamilton.

Hamilton threw the uniform back at Nazreth, according to the documents both women wrote.

"She walked up and put her arms around me then I hit her to get her off me," Nazreth wrote.

Security broke up the fight, and as the women were walking toward the office, Hamilton was still calling her names, and "talking trash" about her daughter, Nazreth alleged in her filing documents.

On the advice of her attorney, Nazreth declined to comment Monday.

Hamilton did not respond to a message left for her Monday morning at North Hagerstown High School.

Hamilton wrote that Nazreth approached the track team, cursing and screaming at her.

She also wrote that Nazreth threw a uniform at her, which she threw back at the woman.

"She jumped into my face and began screaming and shouting beligerantly (sic) and shoved me forcefully with her hands. At that point, I grabbed her around the neck with my arm to prevent her from stricking (sic) me any further. At that point she started scratching my face, punching me and pulling me hair. I continued to hold her around the neck and up against wall (sic) to prevent her from punching me."

An assistant coach and one of the athletes attempted to separate the women, but Nazreth refused to release her hair, Hamilton alleged in the court document.

The fight happened in front of the entire track team, Hamilton wrote in charging documents.

Nazreth's daughter had not been participating in the team's workout, and was given the option of resuming the workout or quitting the team, Hamilton wrote. The girl refused to choose, and Hamilton told her to turn in her uniform, the coach wrote in charging documents.

Richard Wright, communications officer for Washington County Public Schools, said he was unable to address the specifics of the case, citing Washington County Public Schools policies against discussing personnel matters publicly. 

However, when WCPS receives notification that a criminal charge has been filed against an employee, administrators follow standard operating procedures, and place the employee on administrative leave pending further review, Wright said.

Hamilton is a track coach at North Hagerstown High School but not a teacher, he said.

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