A Staten Island youth baseball coach has been charged with attacking an elderly umpire during a game in New Jersey, leaving the man with a broken jaw and a concussion, prosecutors said.
Jerry Otero, who was coaching third base for the Staten Island-based New York Prospects travel team, surrendered to Branchburg Township police Tuesday in connection to the June 4 in-game assault, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.
Otero, 40, allegedly punched the 72-year-old ump after being ejected for using foul language during a 13-and-under tournament game hosted by the US Amateur Baseball League.
Otero, who has been permanently banned by USABL, was charged with third-degree aggravated assault and fourth-degree assault at a youth sports event. He was taken into custody at the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing, prosecutors s aid.
The accused coach was asked to help out during the tournament and is a father of a player on the New York Prospects, USABL officials told The Post.
Otero was ejected from the game by the umpire for “aggressively arguing a call” while shouting expletives, USABL president Brian Schifilliti said.
“He then proceeded to punch the umpire in the face, fracturing his jaw in 2 places and giving him a concussion,” Schifilliti wrote in an email. “This happened in front of both teams of a 13-year-old kids, their families watching the game, tournament site hosts and bystanders from other teams also participating in the tournament at the complex.”
The battered ump’s jaw had to be wired shut after the attack. He wishes to remain anonymous, but intends to get back out on the field this fall, Schifilliti said.
While the league is happy to “see justice served,” Schifilliti said violence has no place at the ballpark.
“Parents and coaches arguing with umpires at youth baseball games is unacceptable,” he said. “People see MLB coaches storming the field, kicking dirt on home plate and throwing a fit in the umpire’s face so they think they’re entitled to act the same way at a 13-year-old baseball game when the reality is if they acted like this in a restaurant or supermarket they would be arrested.”
Attempts to reach the New York Prospects, who have also been banned from future USABL games, were unsuccessful Wednesday.
A man who identified himself as Otero declined to address the allegations when reached Wednesday by The Post.
“I can’t talk about the situation,” he said. “I’m sorry.”