I don't know what to say. <br><br>If .. IF .. the coach ordered this, it's one of the saddest things I've ever read. Children are our most precious gifts. Even more so when they have a disability. The violation of trust here is unbelievable.<br><br>I'm absolutely heartbroken . . . <br><br><blockquote>Police: Coach Told Player to Injure Disabled Teammate, 8<br>Friday, July 15, 2005<br><br>PITTSBURGH — A youth baseball coach paid one of his players to hurt an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate so the boy wouldn't be able to play in a game, state police said Friday.<br><br>Mark R. Downs Jr. (search), 27, of Dunbar, offered one of his players $25 to hit the boy in the head with a baseball, police said. Witnesses told police Downs didn't want the boy to play in the T-ball game because of his disability.<br><br>The solicited player hit the boy in the head and in the groin with a baseball just before a game, and the disabled boy didn't play, police said.<br><br>Downs, who is a coach with the R.W. Clark Youth Baseball League (search), had an unpublished telephone number and could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. It was unclear whether he had an attorney.<br><br>The assault happened June 27 at the R.W. Clark baseball field in North Union Township, Fayette County, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh (search).<br><br>The 8-year-old's mother asked the state police to investigate her son's injuries because she suspected Downs wanted to keep the boy off the field, despite a league rule that required each player to participate in three innings a game, said state police Trooper Thomas B. Broadwater.</blockquote><br><br>more<br><br>
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