Charges possible for local man in viral video hitting a youth player

ByLyndsey Gough|December 10, 2020 at 6:50 PM EST - Updated December 10 at 11:34 PM

OSCEOLA, FL. (WTOC) - Charges could be coming for former Savannah youth football coach Gerrel Williams.

In a now viral video, Williams can be seen on the field coaching the Savannah Gators U9 team. The team was playing in the American Youth Football National Championships that are being played in Florida this week. The game where the video was taken was played on Monday.

In the video, Williams appears to hit one of the Savannah players twice in the helmet. According to the incident report from OSCO, he knocks the child to the ground, then “once the coach was done screaming, he shoved the kid’s head pushing him off the field.”

A coach for the opposing team said he was disturbed by what he said.

“} “Like I was telling the coaches- I was yelling across, like I was telling their parents, like you all allow these people to hit your kids? Like is that what you guys do? But again, I don’t know how they run their program, I don’t know what they do, but for me, I’ve been coaching for almost 12 year, and I’ve never seen that before,” said Ben Fatilua, who is an assistant coach for the 9U San Diego Bad Boyz.

WTOC has also learned that Williams was also a counselor in the Chatham County Detention Center. Sheriff John Wilcher tells us he was was given the choice between resigning or being fired on Thursday, after Wilcher saw the video. Wilcher says Williams resigned.

In a text message, Wilcher said, “I will not put up with this type of action from any of my employees, were they officers or civilians.”

CCSO sent out the following statement:

CCSO reviewed the video and we are very disturbed by the actions of Mr. Gerrel Williams.

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office does not condone this behavior. As of Dec. 10, 2020, he is no longer an employee of the CCSO. Mr. Williams was not a deputy; he was a counselor in the detention center.

Initially OSCO said that the case was being turned over to the Department of Children and Families, but according to an email sent Thursday night by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer, “After further review of the video with the State Attorney, charges will be pursued by our agency.”

OCSO said the child’s mother did not want to press charges at the time of the report.

You can see their police report on the incident below:

AYF sent the following statement:

“We are of course beyond disappointed in the coaches actions, which are wholly inconsistent with the fundamental value of youth sports, which at its core is an opportunity for adult leaders to be role models for our nation’s youth.

The coach has been banned indefinitely from all future AYF events and activities.

Furthermore we have been working with local law enforcement and the coach has himself reached out to local police to turn himself in.

We don’t have further information on the status relating to law enforcements actions.”

-Adam Laufer, American Youth Football

The Big Peach Conference that the Gators play in also confirmed that Williams was expelled.

Fatilua added that the coaches do go through a background check each year, but he thinks more should be done to educate and train coaches.

“You know, we do tough love, but you’ve got to love up on the kid. We’ve never, of course never, I’m never going to put my hands on another child, let alone mine.”

The Savannah Police Department also released a statement, after having the video sent to them.

You can watch the video of the incident below at the 15:15 mark. The video could be disturbing to some.

Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Photo: WTOC

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