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Minneapolis man charged with attacking football coach after game

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A Minneapolis man is accused of attacking a substitute football coach after a game last month at Armatage Park.

Alexis Ruiz Benitez is charged with larceny for the September attack in the park on Penn Avenue South between 56th and 58th Streets.

According to the criminal complaint, the coach, who is an employee of the park board and drove several players to the game, was fulfilling the role of youth football coach on September 15.

According to police, during the match, a referee asked a 15-year-old player to remove a necklace he was wearing. According to the police, the player gave the necklace to the coach. But after the game, the player claimed he gave the coach two necklaces.

When the coach said he had only been given one necklace and emptied his pockets to show he did not have the other necklace, police said the player had gone pissed off and left the football field.

The charges say that after the argument, the coach took the time to check the football field to see if the necklace had been dropped. Around 20 minutes later, police said the player and three men returned to the pitch.

According to police, the three adults then confronted the replacement coach.

In the charges, the officers write: “The group [of adults] tells Victim to empty his pockets. The victim refused and pulled out his cell phone to call 911. Suspect 1 then punched the victim in the face with a clenched fist and attempted to take the cell phone from him. Suspect 2 went behind the victim and put him in a choke hold. One of the suspects then grabbed the key to the Park Board van from a lanyard the victim had around his neck and took it. The group then left the area.”

The coach only suffered a minor cut from the attack but had to wait hours for a spare truck key to be brought to the pitch so he could bring other children back at home.

Using a series of photos, police said the coach was later able to identify Ruiz Benitez as the person who punched him.

Ruiz Benitez is not currently in custody and police say he is also wanted for threats of violence in a separate case.