Police: Youth basketball coach punched 10-year-old player in Greenvale
A youth basketball coach is accused of punching a 10-year-old boy during practice this weekend at the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center in Greenvale.
Cheikh Khadim Ndiaye, a 28-year-old from Queens, was arraigned Monday on charges of assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Police say the 10-year-old boy reported that coach "Deem," as the suspect is known, punched him multiple times in the arm after participating in a practice drill called "knockout" Saturday afternoon. The boy says the punches left painful bruises on both arms.
Court documents state that the boy's father called the coach to find out what happened and the coach told him, "We were just playing games and I'm sorry."
Ndiaye was released Monday on his own recognizance. He played basketball for St. John's University, graduated in 2015 and has no criminal record.
The community center says Ndiaye has been suspended without pay. It sent News 12 a statement saying: "We will not tolerate any environment that is not safe and healthy for all in our community."
A source who has seen video of the alleged punching incident says it is being taken out of context, even though the coach should not have hit the child. That source and others tell News 12 that Ndiaye has worked at the JCC for a couple years, is a gentle giant and that the incident is out of character.
The JCC says it has launched its own investigation into the incident.