Dad Charged With Beating Softball Coach

A father apparently distraught over his daughter's suspension from a softball team was arrested on a charge of beating her coach with an aluminum bat.

Mark Picard (search), who teaches art at Notre Dame High School in West Haven, was freed on bond and a court appearance was scheduled for May 31. He was placed on administrative leave from his job after his arrest.

John Crovo (search), the girl's softball coach at Sacred Heart Academy (search), where she is a senior, told the New Haven Register that Picard first hit him in the head, then struck him several times when he was on the ground in a fetal position.

"I took a big-time beating," Crovo told the newspaper. "He was swinging for the fences. This guy was trying to kill me."

Crovo said he was treated at a hospital, must wear a neck brace and will be out of work for at least 10 days.

Picard's daughter is the starting first baseman on the team. Sacred Heart Academy officials would not discuss the nature of her suspension, but Hamden police said the girl had skipped a recent game to attend a prom.

Crovo and Picard did not immediately return calls Wednesday from The Associated Press.

Picard was charged with assault, reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor.

Blair Destito, a junior co-captain of the team, said she saw the beating.

"I looked over and our coach is on the ground and the girl's father is beating him with a bat. He was continually hitting him," she said. "The girl ran over and was screaming at her father to stop. Eventually he just stopped."