Father arrested, charged after tackling Southeast Guilford student-athlete at wrestling tournament, police say

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KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — A father was arrested and is charged with simple assault after he rushed and tackled a high school student-athlete during a wrestling match, according to a Kannapolis Police Department news release.

Barry Lee Jones, of Harrisburg, was arrested on Saturday at 415 East 1st St.

He is charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct.

The student-athlete he tackled was from Southeast Guilford High School and was wrestling Jones’ son, who is a student from Hickory Ridge High School, the release says.

Jones was processed at the Cabarrus County Jail and received a $1,000 secured bond.

The SGHS student-athlete was reportedly not injured.

The expert on the mat at the time of the incident gave the hand signals to call the SGHS student athlete’s move as illegal, according to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

The Southeast Guilford High School wrestling coach and principal declined to comment.

FOX8 has reached out to Guilford County Schools.

“It’s very unfortunate, and it just shows a society that I feel sometimes we’re just losing all decorum,” said Sharon Contreras, the Superintendent of Schools for Guilford County. “I want to say that the parents from that high school wrote us a lovely letter saying they were equally appalled. It’s not who they are as a community. And I certainly apologize to the students at both high schools who experienced that, particularly the student who was attacked.”

Southeast Guilford High School Wrestling shared a statement on behalf of Hickory Ridge Wresting Team parents. It letter reads:

To all the SE Guilford parents, coaches, team members and administrators,

WE ARE DEEPLY SORRY.

We want you to know that we experienced the same nightmare WITH you yesterday. We are in shock, horror and disbelief by the inconceivable action of one parent on a wrestler. We don’t understand it nor would we ever condone it.

Though our parents review the HRHS code of conduct in pre-season mandatory parent meetings, this parent chose to disregard the code and, for that, we are ashamed. His action does not reflect the beliefs of the parents or the HRHS wrestling program.

To the parents of the wrestler who was tackled — we wholeheartedly apologize.

Sincerely,

The parents of the HRHS wrestling team

Leigh Hebbard, Guilford County Schools director of athletics, released the following statement:

“We were troubled to see the assault of one of our student athletes, reportedly by a parent of an opposing team member. However, we greatly appreciate the apology and words of support from the staff and families of the Hickory Ridge Wrestling team who have reached out to us and who share our concerns.”

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