Youth hoops coach who bit off part of counterpart’s ear lands four-year prison sentence

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A youth basketball coach in Massachusetts was sentenced to four years in jail for an attack on a fellow youth basketball coach that featured echoes of Mike Tyson at his worse: The now-convicted attacker bit off part of his counterpart’s ear when they met in the postgame handshake line.

Timothy Forbes, who bit off part of a fellow coach's ear. (Springfield Republican)
Timothy Forbes, who bit off part of a fellow coach's ear. (Springfield Republican)

As reported by the Boston Herald, Springfield Republican and a handful of other sources, 34-year-old Timothy Forbes will spend the next four years behind bars after a jury found him guilty of mayhem in connection with a lunging attack at fellow youth coach Jose Feliciano. The attack cost Feliciano a sizable chunk -- as much as two inches -- of his left ear.

“The kids weren’t just exposed to a fistfight or a pushing match, which would have been bad enough," Hampden District Attorney Mark Mastroianni told the Herald. "They were exposed to the biting off of someone’s ear. It’s horrific.

“Here’s a sports activity where you’re getting kids into something constructive. We can show you team effort, role models, how to control yourself, appropriate behavior, and here we have a coach who was as opposite as you can be from all those values.”

[Also: Prep basketball players reprimanded for Nazi salute]

Even after plastic surgery, Feliciano now has to go through life with one ear appreciably smaller than the other. Much more significant is the effect that the incident had on Feliciano’s family, with the 35-year-old’s wife and children having to watch their husband and father be violently attacked by a man they were taught to respect on the other sideline.

One of Feliciano’s sons reportedly still suffers from frequent nightmares about the event.

For now, Feliciano’s wife said that the family was relieved to see Forbes sent to prison, though they felt he should have received even more time for a rather disturbing and troubling crime.

“It’s hard because we are pointed at when we walk down the street because people know what happened and who we are,” Sheileen Feliciano told the Herald. “I can’t really put it into words. I am angry. It wasn’t right. ... We can forgive but we can never forget.”

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