Losing Basketball Coach Bites Off Part of Winning Coach's Ear - Tarnished Twenty
Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Losing Basketball Coach Bites Off Part of Winning Coach's Ear

A Massachusetts man accused of biting off part of a coach's ear after a middle-school basketball game has turned himself in to police.

Timothy Lee Forbes, 34, of Springfield, Mass., was the assistant coach of a losing team of sixth graders, the Hartford Courant reports. USA Today, however, said Forbes was not a coach, but rather a father angry over the loss of his son's basketball team.

Either way, Forbes faces charges of mayhem, assault and battery, and disorderly conduct in connection with the alleged biting attack that took place at the Western Massachusetts Catholic Youth Organization finals Friday night, Springfield's WWLP-TV reports.

After the opposing team won the game, Timothy Lee Forbes apparently got angry and picked a fight with the winning team's coach, according to WWLP. During the fight, Forbes bit off part of the coach's ear.

Spectators broke up the fight, which left children in tears, and Forbes ran away before police arrived, WVIT-TV reports. The 34-year-old victim was taken to a hospital for treatment, and is recovering.

After Forbes turned himself in on Monday, he pleaded not guilty to all charges. He faces another court hearing this week to set bail, according to WVIT.

Among the more serious charges against Forbes is a felony mayhem charge. While many states classify "mayhem" as assault, Massachusetts defines mayhem as the "malicious intent to maim or disfigure," and specifically lists the cutting or tearing off of an ear as part of the crime. If convicted, Forbes may face up to 20 years in prison, or a combination of fines and jail time.

As for possible defenses, Timothy Lee Forbes could try to claim self-defense (though witness accounts suggest Forbes started the fight), or even insanity. That's up for him and his lawyer to decide as the ear biting case proceeds to trial.

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