There are no words to describe the horrific behavior of a father towards his son at a weekend youth basketball tournament game in Lakeville, Minnesota. And his behavior leaves you wondering what happens to this poor, unfortunate boy in the privacy of his home based upon what this father is willing to do to him in public.
Apparently this past Saturday after Eagan lost their tournament game, 52-year old Steven Wilson walked down a hallway at Lakeville South High, grabbed his eighth-grade son and began punching him in the face, while parents and children watched in horror.
Parents who were close by at the time had to physically intervene before the father would stop beating his son. When the local police arrived at the school, they arrested Wilson, who spent the night in jail before posting $10,000 to get out with no conditions to his release.
Wilson is charged with fifth-degree domestic assault, and a Lakeville prosecutor told FOX 9 News that any time there is a domestic assault charge a no-contact order is typically part of the release agreement. However, at this time, no such order has shown up in Wilson’s file.
Witnesses to this unbelievable event were deeply disturbed by what they saw, and Lakeville Police Chief Tom Vomhoff said that in his 30 years on the force he had never seen anything like it.
Vomhoff told KARE-11, “This assault is an example of particularly disturbing adult behavior on so many levels. Parents attending youth sports events have such a great opportunity to be a positive role model for kids, and that is clearly not what happened here.”
“Occasionally, everyone sees that parent at the sporting events who’s a little too belligerent, verbally abusive a little bit—but for the police to be called to an event related to it is very unusual,” he said.
Parents who attended the game said that they thought Wilson should be banned from future games. “It breaks your heart,” onlooker Tara Falteysek told Fox 9. “I can’t imagine how that young boy feels, that dad would do that to him — and in front of friends.”
Mark Kempton, Lakeville’s eighth-grade coach, said that he hadn’t witnessed the beating but he had heard about it from shocked parents. He also saw Wilson’s son after he was attacked by his father, and said, “I was shaken. It was pretty ugly. I felt terrible for him. It was obvious he took a couple of shots.”
Kempton, who has been a coach for roughly 12 years, added, “Certainly it was disturbing because we’re there for the kids. If this kind of thing happens publicly, you kind of wonder what happens privately.”
And Ken LaChance, President of the Eagen Athletic Association, released this statement on Tuesday:
“If the allegations are true, there is no excuse for the type of behavior displayed by this individual. All participants and families agree to comply to a Code of Conduct prior to the start of their sport season. Clearly, if true, this incident falls well outside of those boundaries and EAA internal disciplinary action will be taken against this individual. EAA is committed to providing a safe and positive environment for our participants and their families.”
In the meantime, this “father” faces a $3,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail and is expected to appear in court next month. It is very likely that he will be found guilty of the charges he faces since he was surrounded by so many witnesses when he decided to beat his son for not leading his team to victory in an oh-so-important-eighth-grade tournament. It is frightening to consider what he would be capable of if his poor son was ever in a truly important athletic competition.
This man needs some serious psychological help; his behavior is clearly unpredictable and violent, and his son seems to be an easy target for his rage. Hopefully the courts will demand some intensive therapy before letting this man have any access to his son any time soon.
The only good news is that the boy did not require medical help, but one has to wonder what this has done to him emotionally and the humiliation he must feel over being treated so horrifically by his father in such a public forum. I hope that there is a mother involved in this boy’s life and that she is getting him the emotional support he needs, as well as protecting him from his father.