Family, Activists Defend Linden H.S. Football Player Accused of Hitting Opponent with Helmet

CBS New York, September 17, 2015

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Linden High School played Immaculata High School at home this past Friday night. Video showed Linden defensive lineman Fritz Moncion apparently pull the helmet off his opponent and hit the player on the head with it, as CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.

The Immaculata player stood up after the hit and was taken to a hospital, where he received 10 stitches to close a head wound.

A referee penalized Moncion for unsportsmanlike conduct, but did not remove him from the game.

On Thursday, Moncion’s mother, Anita McDuffy, came to the defense of her son.

“Sometimes kids during football might get overwhelmed, and he really is apologetic for this,” McDuffy said. “He didn’t mean it. He said it was an accident. And my thing is he said he got his hand stuck in the helmet, and I believe my child.”

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Linden community activist Dondi Givens Jr. also defended Moncion.

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According to activists advising Moncion’s family, the Immaculata player–No. 73–had speared Moncion in the midsection with his helmet on an earlier play.

Givens said “there was a lot of racial stuff being said,” and activists said it included the N word.

That allegation drew swift pushback from Linden School Supt. Danny Robertozzi.

“This is the first time I’m hearing anything about this incident being possibly racially motivated, and that has not come up in our investigation. It has not come up in our conversation with the young man,” Robertozzi said.

The superintendent also confirmed he decided to remove Moncion from the team.

Moncion posted on Instagram that he has been suspended for 10 days. Linden police said they turned results of their investigation over to the prosecutor’s office, with no recommendation either way about possible charges.

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