By Wyatt Earp | April 9, 2009
I wanted to post this story last night, but I was way too angry to put together anything coherent. This story deserves better than that.
Yesterday, Kyle had soccer practice at Parkwood Youth Organization. Parkwood is where his team, Philadelphia Soccer Club, plays all of their league games. For some unknown reason, we also have to practice there, instead of our home fields. That was not our choice; it was the decision of the league. We have expressed permission from the Philadelphia Department of Recreation – which owns the fields – to be there. Remember that for later on. Anyway, we arrived at 6:30pm and found our designated practice field, which was easy because only two of the 22 fields were in use at the time.
Seven of the 15 kids showed up for practice – the cold may have kept some players home – and Kyle’s coach started after a little warm-up. Everything was going swimmingly until a man approached our field. He was a short, very heavyset man of about 50 years of age.
And he wasn’t happy.
He came up to Dave, Kyle’s coach, and started the “conversation” this way: “Get the Hell off this field!!!” Not exactly a fine how do you do. For some reason unknown to us, the man was screaming at Coach Dave and getting into his face. My first thought was, “Damn, I am going to have to go over there and get in the middle of that.” I don’t like getting myself involved in incidents while off-duty, but it appeared that this man was going to start a fistfight. To his credit, Dave only yelled back. He did not touch the man or use profanity.
I wish I could say the same for the other guy.
After the first outburst, the man kept going. “This field is Parkwood field! You people have no permission to be here, and I want you off this field NOW!” Dave, still completely taken aback, tried to ask the man a few questions:
“Excuse me? Who are you?”
The man replied, “Tony D’Ambrosio! Get off this field!”
Oh, did I mention he was screaming like a maniac in front of a team of 8-year olds?
I thought it was bizarre that the man gave his name, but not his position or title within Parkwood Youth Organization. The name Tony D’Ambrosio means nothing to me, and it meant nothing to Dave. After a few minutes of this blowhard’s insanity, Dave finally lost it. He began shouting back at the man – who did not possess adequate listening skills – and told him that not only did we have the Department of Recreation’s expressed permission to use the field, but we also had a permit to prove it.
Mr. D’Ambrosio was not impressed, and he approached Coach Dave and bumped him with his enormous girth. Damnit, I thought, now I have to get involved. I calmly approached this raving lunatic and identified myself as a police detective. I also reminded Mr. D’Ambrosio that I just witnessed him assault Coach Dave, and that he could be arrested if Dave wished to file charges. Amazingly, his attitude completely changed. The profanity-laced tirades transformed into, “Oh, I’m sorry Officer. I apologize for losing my temper.”
By this time, however, it was too late for Dave. He was understandably livid; not because this man assaulted him, but because this man exposed our kids to such a despicable display. Dave demanded D’Ambrosio apologize to the parents and the kids, and he complied. After that, he went with D’Ambrosio to see the gentleman who runs Parkwood Youth Organization.
I figured I should tag along, just in case.
The man from Parkwood was more than accommodating, probably because he knew that D’Ambrosio was dead wrong. During the conversation, and interesting factoid was revealed: Tony D’Ambrosio, the raving lunatic with the foul mouth, is the director of the UJSL – the soccer organization to which our team belongs! When Dave and I heard that, we just giggled.
Dave summed it up perfectly. “So, you mean to tell me that you are responsible the safety and welfare of hundreds of kids, and you would act like that in front a bunch of 8-year olds? You’re supposed to be a role model!”
I wanted to mention that if anyone would know that we had permission to play on the fields, it would be the Director of the UJSL, but by that time I was too angry to speak clearly. D’Ambrosio, finally realizing his idiocy, apologized again and asked us what he could do to for us to make things right. Dave responded, “I don’t know yet.” For my part, I interjected, “You might want to change your attitude before you explode in front of a bunch of 8-year olds.”
Personally, I cannot say enough disparaging things about Tony D’Ambrosio. In my opinion, a man like that should not be dealing with children . . . ever. I don’t know what Dave is going to do about this incident, but if I were him, I would demand his resignation. I doubt that D’Ambrosio would comply with that demand, but someone should, because he is truly unfit for his position.
If anyone reading this lives in the Philadelphia area, or has a child who plays for the UJSL, you may want to keep an eye on Tony D’Ambrosio. In my opinion, he is a very angry, dangerous man.
Topics: Snarkasm |