Michigan coach fired, facing charges after video shows him choking teen at middle school

A Michigan middle school coach was fired and is facing criminal charges after video captured him running up behind a student and using his shirt to grab him by the neck.

The former coach, whose name has not been released by authorities or the middle school, was charged with assault with the intent to cause bodily harm by strangulation and assault and battery, Washtenaw County prosecuting Attorney Eli Savit told USA TODAY Thursday.

The charges stem from June 4 at Ypsilanti Community Middle School, when the coach, working as a hall monitor, ordered a 14-year-old student identified by his family as Michael Moon to do pushups for "horse-playing with another student," the family's attorney, Jordan Vahdat, told USA TODAY.

Michael told the coach that he could not do the pushups because of a bike-riding hand injury. That's when the coach apparently pounced.

Surveillance video shows Michael trying to do the pushups on his knees before showing the coach that he cannot. Michael then enters a classroom and is soon escorted back to the hallway by the coach. When Michael walks away, the coach removes his own shirt, approaches Michael from behind and wraps it around the boy's neck, appearing to choke him, the video shows.

Michael endured a back injury and "mental anguish" from the man he once considered a "trusted coach," Vahdat said.

"What's really disturbing when you watch it is it looks like he's done this before because he wrapped it around his wrists," Vahdat told USA TODAY Thursday. "That's what makes it so horrible to watch because it's violent. This shows the intent there was to harm. He held him there for four or five seconds."

Coach fired immediately, now charged

The coach was immediately fired, banned from school property and from barred attending school activities, according to the Ypsilanti Community School District, which did not provide his name.

"The actions of the employee are absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our district," Ypsilanti Community Schools Superintendent Alena Zachery-Ross said in a statement. "We will continue to implement and enforce policies that protect our students and ensure their well-being."

Zachery-Ross told the school community in a letter Monday that law enforcement and social services authorities were promptly contacted after the incident.

The coach's case was not yet publicly listed in court records. Savit said the prosecutor's office could not name the coach until his arraignment hearing, which should be held in coming weeks.

Parents 'horrified' to see what happened

Moon's mother, Yolanda Ellis, said she was "horrified" seeing footage of her son being attacked, Detroit news station WXYZ-TV reported.

"It made me lose trust in the school system," Ellis told the station. "It also made me lose trust in that coach because he was someone that Michael looked up to."

The teen's father, Steve Moon, said he needs the man to pay for what he did to his son, the station reported.

"That means being fired, losing his job and sitting in jail," Steve Moon said. "I need him to know that what he did was wrong."

Vahdat said that the Moon family will be seeking monetary damages from the school and coach.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Video: Michigan coach chokes middle schooler with shirt; now charged