Allen Community College cross country and track and field head coach Vince DeGrado was cleared of a Class A misdemeanor assault charges on Friday.
The charges were pending from a March 3 incident when DeGrado was arrested at the NJCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Lubbock, Texas, after shoving an opposing assistant coach to the ground twice.
DeGrado had maintained the incident occurred only because he and his team had been harassed throughout the tournament by the coach and the shoves came in the defense of one of his runners.
Lubbock County courts dismissed the case on the grounds that justice could not be served through further proceedings in this matter, according to court documents obtained by the Register.
When reached, DeGrado was elated that the charges were dismissed and expressed how rare it was for this type of dismissal to be given.
Basically it means that when the Lubbock County district attorney looked at all of the evidence and talked to all of the witnesses, he came to the conclusion that it would be unjust to punish me, DeGrado said. Now that I am free to speak about Texas in full detail I cant seem to find the words. All I can say is that this incident has taught me that, in life, it doesnt matter how many trophies you win, how many titles you have or your accomplishments what matters is the people in your life who stand by you not just when you are at your best but the people who surround you at your worst and are willing to help protect you based on what they know to be true about you. I am a truly lucky person to have people like that in my life.
After the incident, the NJCAA suspended DeGrado from attending all meets with any other NJCAA team competing through the 2019-2020 cross country, track and field and cross country season. With the charges getting dismissed, DeGrado is not sure what the next step is to being fully reinstated as head coach of the Red Devils.
Thats up to the NJCAA, DeGrado said. Well have to see.
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