Coach charged with assault following altercation

Ron Gregory

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CHAPMANVILLE — A highly successful Logan High School basketball coach has been charged with assault and battery on a police officer during a brawl that broke out during a game in Chapmanville Saturday evening, according to media sources.

Logan High’s head basketball Coach Mark Hatcher was detained by Chapmanville town police officers and booked on the charges following Logan’s win over Scott in the Nationwide Insurance Basketball Classic held at Chapmanville Regional High School.

A video tape of the game shows that with 4:33 remaining in the game and Logan leading by three points, a melee broke out when players struggled for the rebound of a missed shot. Punches were eventually thrown and players from both squads became involved in the altercation.

Hatcher is seen in the video pulling his players from the area and pushing some toward his team’s bench. Eventually, while two players — one from Logan and one from Scott — can be seen continuing to scuffle on the floor, a Chapmanville police officer is seen kneeled down and attempting to separate the pair. At that point, Hatcher appears to reach the police office and push him away from the players as the coach reaches for his student/athlete.

It appears that the officer becomes off-balance, perhaps as a result of the Hatcher push, and tumbles to the floor. At that point, the other officers grab Hatcher as the pushed officer gets to his feet. All the officers then push and lead Hatcher from the scene. One even appears to put the coach’s hands behind his back as though he intends to handcuff him.

Both the coach and some of the officers appear to be verbally arguing as he is pushed toward his team bench. Hatcher can be heard telling the officers to “leave me the f—- alone.”

Two players — one from Scott and one from Logan — were ejected as a result of the brawl. Hatcher remained on the bench and continued to coach his team to a win over their Corridor G rival.

But when a reporter went to the Logan dressing room and asked where the coach was, his players replied, “He got arrested.”

Reports were that the Chapmanville police officers grabbed Hatcher as he headed toward the team locker room and escorted him to the police station across the street. Although a reporter could not access the room where the coach was taken, loud voices were heard coming from inside minutes later.

Eventually, a sheriff’s deputy confirmed that the Chapmanville police had arrested the coach on the two charges. He said Hatcher “was taken to Logan for processing.”

Nobody was available at Chapmanville Town Hall to confirm the reports although Charleston television station WCHS-TV8 reported they had spoken with Chapmanville police who confirmed the charges.

In a midnight telephone interview, Hatcher told a reporter he would talk only about “how proud I am of the way my kids played tonight.” He refused comment on either the altercation or his alleged arrest.

Defenders of the Logan coach insisted that he was only “protecting his players” during the incident. They alleged that Chapmanville police “hate Mark Hatcher and they were out to get him.” Chapmanville and Logan have always been fierce Logan County rivals.

Mark Hatcher’s father, Allan Hatcher, coaches CRHS. His team played in the game following the Scott-Logan tilt and he left the bench for a prolonged period of time during the contest. Fans said he was seen headed toward the nearby police station.

There were no further details concerning the incident. Logan County Sheriff Sonja Porter, contacted at her home late Saturday, said she “understood” the Chapmanville police made the arrest and she was not expecting an incident report from her deputies. She did know, however, that some were at the scene when the melee occurred.


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