Two Bishop Amat football players accuse rival coach of assault; police investigating

Bishop Amat running back Aiden Ramos makes a short gain against Servite in a 2021 game.
Bishop Amat running back Aiden Ramos makes a short gain against Servite in a 2021 game.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Two La Puente Bishop Amat High School football players allege they were physically assaulted by La Verne Damien High School football coaches at a game Friday evening — and now head football coach Matt Bechtel has been suspended.

Aiden Ramos, a 19-year-old running back for Bishop Amat, alleges that the Damien head football coach, along with another coach, ripped his helmet off his head and grabbed his shoulder pads, after he and the coaches exchanged heated words after a tense rivalry game Friday.

Bechtel could not be reached Monday, and a front desk operator for Damien High School referred The Times to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for comment.

Ramos’ dad, Jesse Ramos, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that the altercation left his son with a bruise under his left eye, and that a police report was filed Saturday morning with the La Verne Police Department.


On Saturday, a second Bishop Amat football player — who asked to remain anonymous — filed a police report with the La Verne Police Department, The Times has confirmed.

In a statement Saturday, La Verne Police Chief Colleen Flores said her department was investigating a battery at the football game between Damien and Bishop Amat.

“A 19-year-old Bishop Amat student alleges two subjects battered him, and at least one of the subjects involved is a Damien High School Football Team coach,” the statement read. “The La Verne Police Department is actively investigating the incident, and no further details are available at this time.”

In a separate statement released Saturday, the archdiocese said that it had launched an internal investigation, and that one of the Damien coaches involved in the incident had been placed on leave. The statement did not specify which of the coaches was suspended, but sources confirmed to The Times it was Bechtel.

“The Archdiocese has been advised that a report has been made with the La Verne Police Department concerning the incident,” the statement read. “According to Archdiocesan policy, the person named in the report has been placed on administrative leave pending the result of the investigations of the police department and the Archdiocese.”

Damien and Bishop Amat athletic directors Jeff Grant and Joe Hoggatt, respectively, could not be reached for comment.

For the record:

10:55 p.m. Sept. 26, 2022A previous version of this story misspelled the last name of Bishop Amat head coach Steve Hagerty as Haggerty.

Tensions rose Friday evening after a 35-7 win by Bishop Amat against its longtime rival, when Bishop Amat head coach Steve Hagerty refused to shake Bechtel’s hand after the game. Sources told The Times Bechtel confronted Hagerty and it wasn’t long before players and coaches began to attack one another.