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Lakeridge volunteer coach accused of punching football player

Lake Oswego High School graduate arrested following the incident


A Lakeridge High School volunteer football coach is accused of punching a player in the face.Michael Cole

Lake Oswego police arrested Michael James Cole, 28, on Tuesday at the police station after Cole had come to speak to officers about the incident, Sgt. Tom Hamann said. Cole was booked into Clackamas County Jail in Oregon City on suspicion of fourth-degree assault and second-degree disorderly conduct. He was released on 10 percent of an $11,000 bail on Wednesday.

“There’s a potential for up to a year in jail” for his charges, said Hamann, a spokesman for the Lake Oswego Police Department.

Cole, a Lake Oswego High School graduate, is scheduled to be arraigned in Clackamas County Circuit Court on Sept. 24.

School district officials are reviewing the incident.

Cole “has been suspended, and we will make a determination about his status as a volunteer, probably by the end of the week,” Lake Oswego School District Superintendent Bill Korach said.

Cole allegedly threw the punch when he tried to break up a fight that broke out between two players during football practice at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Korach said. Other players had stepped in to separate the two combatants, one of whom was Lakeridge senior Marqueese Royster. Cole reportedly ran up and struck Royster while his teammates were restraining him, Hamann said.

Cole is 6 feet, 7 inches and was almost 300 pounds when he did a stint as an offensive tackle at Oregon State University.

Royster, a defensive lineman, reportedly suffered a cut and swollen lip.

“It was an assault by Mr. Cole, and the (Royster) family doesn’t have any comment at this time,” said the family’s attorney, Kevin Brague of Tigard. “Marqueese is there to play football and finish school.”

Royster, who is African-American and Latino, was the subject of tweets with racial slurs in March 2012 when he attended Lake Oswego High School. He subsequently transferred to Lakeridge High School, and three Lake Oswego High students were suspended.

According to the Review’s archives, the Royster family moved to Lake Oswego when Marqueese Royster was in seventh grade.

“It's a small community, and it's a great school system, and that's why we moved here,” his mother, Annalisa Royster, told the Review shortly after the Twitter incident. “I love living here. I hate that this happened to one of my children, but I still believe that it is a great school system and it's a great place for them to grow up safe.”