VARDAMAN – The parent of a Vardaman Junior High School softball player has been arrested after allegedly striking a coach at a softball game Thursday evening and spent the night in the Calhoun County Jail.
Vardaman Police Chief Kenneth Scott said James Tedder, of Vardaman ,was arrested by Vardaman police and Calhoun County Sheriff’s Deputies at his home east of Vardaman and charged with simple assault after an altercation at the James B. Parker Sports Complex.
“At this point we have been told there was some kind of discussion with the coach and Mr. Tedder and when the coach turned to walk away the parent started it,” said Scott. “We are interviewing people this morning to determine exactly what happened. A lot of people saw it and it has stunned the community.”
Scott would not discuss motive and said while the sports complex is owned by the city it is actually outside the city limits and technically in the jurisdiction of Calhoun County.
Scott also said he did not know if Tedder might be charged with the enhanced crime of assaulting a teacher.
Simple assault of a school teacher or coach is a felony and punishable by up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine. Scott said Tedder had not been arraigned as of Friday morning.
“I have talked with the superintendent of Calhoun County Schools and he said they want to pursue this,” said Scott. “I know him (Tedder) and he is a good guy, but you can’t do this kind of thing. This kind of incident affects the whole community. The visiting team saw it, too.”
Scott said he has been in touch with Calhoun County Sheriff Gregg Pollan and the Vardaman City Attorney about the incident.
If Tedder is charged with felony assault on a teacher the case will go before the Calhoun County Grand Jury seeking an indictment. An indictment there would place the case on the Calhoun County Circuit Court docket for hearing.