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Wilton Schools Investigate 'Civility Violation' After Postgame Assault

Sherman Eagan
Sherman Eagan Photo Credit: Wilton Police Department

WILTON, Conn. — "This cannot be 'The Wilton Way.'" That was the message from the principal and athletic director at Wilton High after a father was charged with assaulting the assistant coach of an opposing team after a girls soccer game.  

Principal Robert William O’Donnell and Athletic Director Chris McDougal issued a statement Thursday after Sherman Eagan, 47, of Wilton, was arrested in connection an altercation in the high school parking lot after the game between Wilton and Fairfield Ludlowe.

During the game Wednesday afternoon, Eagan’s daughter was involved in an altercation on the soccer field with a player from Ludlowe, police said. The on-field fight was broken up by coaches from Ludlowe, police said. 

"At least one adult breached" the school's Civility Policy at the game, O’Donnell and McDougal said. 

Related story: Cops: Wilton Dad Assaulted Assistant Soccer Coach From Fairfield After Game

The off-field incident remains under investigation by the police and the school, O’Donnell and McDougal said.  

"Regardless of where this investigation leads, it seems that at least one adult breached the Wilton Public Schools Civility Policy 1255 and the clear expectations outlined in the Parent/Spectator Code of Conduct in the Wilton High School Athletic Handbook," they said. 

"This incident does not define who we are as a school community." 

They vowed to support the entire learning community "in the wake of this unfortunate event, reinforcing our belief that civility and decency are paramount while maintaining a culture that is conducive to the health and wellness of our students, faculty, parents and visitors."

The on-field altercation began when Wilton’s Paisley Eagan and Ludlowe’s McKenna Forrest were chasing down a ball and fell in front of the Ludlowe bench, the Connecticut Post said. They began shoving then punching each other, the Connecticut Post said, with Wilton's Lindsay Groves joining the fray.

The incident was broken up by the Ludlowe coaches, police said.

All three players received red cards and were ejected from the game as well as their next game. 

"At the conclusion of the game, after the teams and coaches shook hands, a separate altercation took place between a Wilton parent and one of the Fairfield Ludlowe coaches," O’Donnell and McDougal said. 

After the game, Eagan confronted the victim in the parking lot, police said. He yelled at the assistant coach and accused him of assaulting his daughter during the game, police said.

According to witnesses and assistant coach, Eagan then choked the victim and struck him in the chest, police said.

Eagan was then pulled off the victim by other coaches and parents, then left the scene in his vehicle, police said.

He was arrested a short while later at his home after refusing to go to the police department to speak to the investigating officers, police said.

Eagan was charged with third-degree assault, third-degree strangulation, second-degree unlawful restraint and second-degree breach of peace, police said.

He was released on $1,000 bond for an appearance in Norwalk Superior Court on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m.

The victim was transported to Norwalk Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, police said.

Wilton won the game, 3-0, and qualified for the last spot in the FCIAC tournament.

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