Bond set at $50k for man accused of punching coach out at basketball game

Published: Mar. 12, 2015 at 6:10 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 12, 2015 at 10:24 PM EDT
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WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - Bond was set at $50,000 for a 50-year-old man accused of punching out a coach during a basketball game at a middle school.

John Mack was in court Thursday afternoon facing an upgraded charge of second-degree assault and battery; Mack had been originally charged with simple assault for the incident and given a $1092 bond.

Mack was also ordered to have no contact with the victim, Fred Clute. 

According to authorities, the incident happened during a middle school basketball tournament game on Feb. 12 at West Ashley Middle school. 

"It was five minutes left in the game and we had just taken a substantial lead," said Clute, who is a volunteer basketball coach at C.E Williams Middle School."I was actually getting ready to put [Mack's son in] when I looked across the floor and saw a parent coming."

Authorities say Mack then asked Flute why he did not put his son in the game.

"I said,'Mr. Mack, right now is not the time to discuss it' and I turned my head because the game was going on," Clute said. "I looked down and the next thing I remember I'm waking up off the floor with my assistant coach placing a rag on my head which was split open."

Court records state Mack had punched Flute in the head which caused Flute to lose consciousness.

"That's definitely sending the wrong attitude to every player on the court," Flute said. 

According to police, Mack then fled the area before Charleston Police Department officers arrived.

Flute was transported to Roper St. Francis Hospital where he received ten stitches for a cut on his head. In addition, police say Flute's lip was swollen and several of his teeth had been knocked loose.

Flute said he's been coaching for 36 years and has never been threatened in a physical fight in a game, and says vocal parents are always going to come into play.

"You're always going to have that, but it's usually handled with some kind of diplomacy not barbarism," Flute said.

Mack remains behind bars and is expected in court on July 17.

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