ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — A youth football coach at Power Cross Ministries in Salisbury is facing child abuse charges after being accused of letting two boys fight in September.
"The child physically assaulted my son and again, this is my son's first fight ever. Like, he's never been in a fight before in his life," the boy's mother, Kelly Hosch, said.
The assault happened at the church on North Ellis Street.
"When he came home that afternoon and I opened the door, I automatically just saw him being distraught, like, ‘What's wrong?'" she said.
Her 10-year-old son Allahzion had returned home from football practice.
"Through his tears, what he was able to say, he explained to me in his own words, ‘Coach Anthony got mad.'"
Salisbury police and Hosch said it started as a fight among other kids at Power Cross ministries, and coach Anthony Shegog got upset that no one intervened to stop it.
"The coach called the child in, confronted him, wanted to know why he didn't do anything, and the child didn't have any kind of response at that point, and the coach spoke to several other kids there and pretty much inferred to them that they needed to do something to the other child to get him to talk," Lt. Greg Beam said.
That's when Beam said another child assaulted Allahzion by punching him and internal video appeared to capture the coach watching it.
"He's never been in a fight before in his life," Hosch said. "He's never been written up."
Shegog was charged with misdemeanor child abuse and Hosch said the coach apologized to her and her son.
The attorney for Shegog told Channel 9 the claims are unfounded. He said Shegog never instructed any child to assault another, never witnessed any assault and never intentionally put any child in harm's way. He said the coach is still employed here.
Statement from Power Cross founder Jeff Storment:
"For 13 years, Power Cross Ministry has strived to provide hope to the young men of the communities we serve. We provide tutoring, character development, Bible study, meals and athletic training, among many more activities and experiences for children.
"We provide transportation for each kid to and from their home when needed. All of this for free with an open-door policy to all of the community's youth. The well-being of each and every child we work with has been and will continue to be our #1 priority.
"In this current situation, we have been accommodating and transparent with anyone involved and all law enforcement agencies. We believe in our justice system, and we believe that when this is over, the truth will overcome. We have worked hard to build a working staff and we trust them, their training and their testimonies.
"We have worked with thousands of children over the past 13 years without any legal issues, and we expect that record to continue. Children, their safety and their future are the number #1 priority at Power Cross Ministry."
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