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A Rockland County football coach was relieved of his duties after being accused of hitting a player across the face with a helmet. YNN's Meredith Zaritheny reports.
"I never expected somebody to actually hit somebody with a helmet, that's outrageous," said Kavtal Katal, a Ramapo High School student.
Duffman Pannell, 43, is the head football coach at Ramapo High School. According to a police report filed by a tenth grade student and football player, he has been accused of hitting the player across the face, purposely sticking him in the head.
"I think there must be a reason to it because I don't think he would do something like that," said Michelle Rojas, a Ramapo High School student. "Because he's a really great teacher, really thoughtful and caring."
The blow from the helmet, according to the report, caused considerable pain and swelling, and even left the student with a bleeding cut above his left eye.
Kavtal said, "He's a nice guy he's always got a smile on his face, always upbeat talking to students, like I said I never expected this."
Students said Pannell is always friendly and a well-liked teacher. After hearing what he's accused of, many students say they can't believe he would do something like this to one of his own players.
"It's wrong you an adult and your hitting a 15-year-old kid who he's suppose to be looking up to you and your suppose to be guiding him because your his coach and then you you hit him with a helmet, that's just wrong," said Marco Colon, another Ramapo High School student.
Pannell is charged with second degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. According to the East Ramapo School District, an internal investigation is being conducted in conjunction with the Ramapo Police Department.