A High School football player caught on camera fighting another player during a game will not be charged for another video showing him using a teammate as target practice at the apparent direction of his coach.
Hamburg High School quarterback Joey Cominsky was captured on video tearing the helmet off an opposing player then hitting him with it at least twice during a football game earlier this month. Cominsky and the player he fought, Josh Hartman, were both ejected and police opened a criminal investigation.
After that video surfaced, another video of Cominsky was released, showing him throwing a football at full speed at the stomach or chest of a teammate during practice. The video also shows Hamburg’s football coach, Joe Sinkovich, appearing to encourage Cominsky to throw the ball at the other player.
A former player at Hamburg shot the video on his cellphone, which was later viewed by his mother, Karen Hoagland. Hoagland said she initially had no intention of showing the video to the public. That changed however, when she saw the video of Cominsky’s fight. Hoagland claimed the new video suggests that the coach created a violent culture for his team which indirectly led to the football game fight.
“He told him to throw the ball at the boy’s chest or stomach, knowing how fast the quarterback throws,” Hoagland said. “He allowed four more balls to be thrown until it hit the kid. To me, he’s putting kids’ lives at risk every day when something like that is allowed to go on.”
Hoagland said she wants the video to be added as evidence in the investigation of the high school fight and for Sinkovich to share some of the blame.
“I think if the coaches would be held more accountable for what happened, this stuff wouldn’t happen on the field,” Hoagland said. “I hope the coach is reprimanded and not allowed to coach the boys anymore, put anymore boys at risk or influence anymore kids.”
NBC10 tried to contact Steven Keifer, Hamburg’s superintendent, as well as the school’s principal. We did not hear back from either person.
Officials with the Berks County District Attorney's Office investigated Hoagland's video. On Monday, officials announced Cominsky would not be charged for throwing the football at his teammate.
"The District Attorney's Office has determined that criminal charges are not warranted as a result of the investigation of this incident," officials wrote in a released statement.
The investigation of the fight Cominsky was involved in continues however.