July 22, 2014

Elyria
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Four people, including coach, charged in fight at basketball game

ELYRIA — A Strongsville assistant varsity basketball coach, two Elyria women and a juvenile were charged Thursday for their involvement in a fight Saturday at an Elyria-Strongsville girls basketball game at Elyria High School.

LaTonya Mahone was cited for disorderly conduct — fighting turbulent behavior. Yvette Spraggins was cited for disorderly conduct — creating a condition which was physically offensive.

Police Lt. William Pelko said the women are both from Elyria and refused to provide statements to police. The two women, both mothers of Elyria High students, have been banned from school events, effective immediately, regardless of the findings by police, according to district spokeswoman Amy Higgins.

Spraggins’ daughter was also cited for disorderly conduct — taunting challenging to provoke a violent response.

Dawn Thall, who is listed as the assistant varsity basketball coach at Strongsville High, also has been charged with disorderly conduct — fighting turbulent behavior.

A news release from police indicated that Thall pushed an Elyria woman, prompting the physical confrontation.

Thall did not provide a statement to police, but Thall’s attorney, Ken Lieux, told police that Thall would like her statement taken at a later date and some additional evidence of injuries she sustained entered.

Calls to Strongsville’s superintendent were not returned, and the district’s athletic director, Paul Moses, said in an email response that he could not specifically comment on the incident because he was out of the district at the time.

“It is unfortunate that events like this occur at athletic events and are more personal when they are associated with an interscholastic contest,” Moses said in the email.

Higgins said that a letter was sent home to parents of Elyria High students reminding them of the district’s rules of conduct at athletic and other district events.

Prior to the fight, witnesses reported that several comments were made between spectators of each team.

Police said the fight may have started after a 6-year-old made derogatory comments to a group of Elyria High School students, who in turn made obscene gestures to the 6-year-old. Pelko said a Strongsville spectator indicated that the comments were not derogatory, however, and that the child only said, “Miss the shot.”

Pelko said the information was not officially reported to police, however, and he encouraged anyone with information to contact Elyria police.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @ChelseaMillerCT.

  • Mike wowk

    Women, coaches, daughters and a 6 year old… Keepin’ it classy Elyria. Sounds like an eppisode of the Jerry Springer Show