The Assumption College football staff saved a man from a mugging
On Friday night in Stamford, Conn., two young men thought they could get away with mugging and robbing a lone pedestrian. And they very well might have, if not for the Assumption College coaching staff.
They Greyhounds had made the trip from Worcester, Mass., to Stamford that Friday to face Pace University in nearby Pleasantville, N.Y., the following day. After going through the Friday night routine of team dinner and final preparation meetings, head coach Bob Chesney stayed behind to do bed check while his seven assistants left the hotel to grab a bite of pizza and see what they could of Stamford.
That's when they heard the cries for help from what Chesney described as "a mid-30's, 5-7, 155-pound Wall Street type guy" as he was in the process of getting mugged. As a group, eight Assumption assistants - offensive coordinator Paul McGonagle, defensive backs coach Anthony Barese, defensive line coach/strength and conditioning coach Chis Gratuski, wide receivers coach Todd Parsons, offensive line coach Matt Sidebottom, safeties coach Jonathan Jean-Louis, running backs coach Todd Warmington and tight ends coach Mark Ledbetter - raced to his aid. As criminals (or most human beings) are known to do when faced with the sight of seven college football coaches sprinting in their direction, they took off.
The Assumption assistants followed the attackers, down alleys and over fences, until all three suspects were apprehended. Mustering enough restraint to resist delivering a blow or five of vigilante justice, the Greyhounds coaches held the suspects until the police arrived, gave statements and saw the victim off to the hospital.
Then they went back to the team hotel and didn't speak a word of their eventful night on the town to Chesney until after the game. "Immediately after the game, they told me," Chesney said. "You hesitate to say they saved someone's life, but they could have had a gun pulled on them. You never know."
The story stayed with the Assumption coaching staff until Tuesday night, when the players were informed. The story had stayed hidden from the media until now.
"My wife and I never got an opportunity to thank your coaches properly. I was very fortunate to have these brave men around when this happened," the victim wrote in an email to Chesney. "I realize that your coaches didn't really have to get involved in the incident, especially being from out of town. I am pretty sure that it would have been much worse if these gentlemen did not come to my help. I escaped with really minor injuries and cuts/bruises."
"It's like that TV show, 'What Would You Do?'," Chesney said. "Our character is what we do when no one is looking. Although these guys don't want any attention, I think it's deserved."
Assumption won the game, by the way, 55-21.