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Shame on the adults

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By Optic Editorial Board

First, let’s acknowledge that what happened at Rodriguez Park a few days ago — when the president of La Plaza Little League pulled a rifle during an argument involving a couple of coaches — is an outlandish exception. Most adult La Plaza participants don’t behave that way.

We hope this will be the one and only time that we’ll ever have to report that a firearm was pulled at a Little League game, but the fact that it happened gives us great pause. Something’s terribly wrong when adults behave in this manner and in such a place.

In case you missed the story, here’s a summary: While La Plaza Little League play was under way on June 8, two coaches — Floribal Bachicha and Andrew Garcia — got into a heated exchange, with family members from both sides jumping into the mix. When Leon Garcia, Andrew Garcia’s father and La Plaza’s president, got wind of what was going on, he got into the middle of it.

He said he feared for his and his family’s lives after one of the coaches went to his car and returned with what he believed to be a gun. According to what Leon Garcia told a police officer, he then went to his truck, retrieved a rifle and “pointed the rifle at ... Bachicha in self-defense.” The elder Garcia claimed that Bachicha had a handgun, but none was found.

We’ll leave it to the district attorney’s office, which now has the case, to sort out the details and, hopefully, level charges against whoever deserves them.

But we will say this to all the so-called “adults” who couldn’t settle their disagreements in a more responsible way: Shame on you. This is more than an embarrassment, it’s shameful and reckless behavior that should not be tolerated by La Plaza or any parents whose children play in the league.

The next day, La Plaza Little League board members relieved the two Garcias and Bachicha of their duties as president and coaches. That was the only responsible thing to do and we’re glad they did it.

If adults can’t act better than that at Little League games, they should stay away. Don’t put children at risk because of whatever petty disagreements you might have, and don’t even think that you’re setting any kind of good example for those children.

Again, we know such extreme behavior is an exception, not the rule, but even once is too many. Little League is for fun and play and character building, not for fusses and fights and settling scores. Stay away if you can’t behave better than that.