Assault charge against Montgomery Co. coach tossed

Prosecutors in Montgomery County, Maryland, have dropped a misdemeanor assault complaint filed against a high school football coach involved in a brawl during a football game in September.

“After reviewing the case, on Friday our office made the determination to dismiss the charge” against Northwest High School football coach Travis Hawkins, said Lauren DeMarco, a spokeswoman with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s office. “We won’t be going forward with it.”



The on-field fight, which initially broke out between players and coaches during a game Sept. 16 between Northwest High and Gaithersburg High, was captured on video.

Gaithersburg High School Athletic Director William Gant ended up filing misdemeanor assault charges against Hawkins in the wake of the fight.

At the time, police also said five other people — including four minors — were facing charges related to fights that broke out on school grounds that same night.

The incident spurred stepped-up security measures at football games across the county. Among the changes were limiting student attendance at football games to only students from the participating schools unless they are accompanied by an adult chaperone and requiring spectators to remain seated in the stands during gameplay.

The changes are expected to remain in place through the end of the football season.

Earlier this month, Montgomery County Public Schools officials said three of the adults involved in the brawl were no longer on the job. An Oct. 14 announcement from school officials did not specify anyone by name but said the Gaithersburg athletic director position and the head and assistant football coach positions at Northwest had been “vacated.”

Earlier, Hawkins said he had been placed on a 24-day suspension while the school system investigated. In an interview with NBC Washington, Hawkins apologized to the school and the community and said, “My kids know I don’t condone violence.”

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report.

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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