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Agoura Coach Won't Be Charged in Incident

May 21, 1997|DAVID WHARTON

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has declined to file charges against a high school tennis coach who scuffled with a player earlier this month.

Agoura High Coach Stewart Limbert wrestled with Alexander Jensen, 17, of Royal near the close of what witnesses described as a rowdy tennis match between the schools on May 7 at Agoura.

Jensen admitted to cursing at the coach. Limbert grabbed Jensen around the neck and pushed him to the ground.

"The question is whether or not it was in self-defense," Deputy Dist. Atty. Martin L. Herscovitz said. "There is insufficient evidence that the coach from Agoura committed a battery."

However, the district attorney will invite Limbert to an informal meeting to discuss the incident with a hearing officer.

"There was a lot of cat-calling and yelling from the stands," Herscovitz said of the match. "The hearing officer can address how to prevent these situations from ending in violence."

Tension existed between the teams before the match.

"There was a lot of background, a lot of animosity between the coaches," said Detective Michael Berg of the sheriff's department. "Both coaches were very upfront about that."

Accounts vary as to who initiated physical contact. It ended with Jensen on the ground, suffering what he claimed was an abrasion on his back.

Jensen, a Norwegian exchange student, was suspended from school and dropped from the team. School administrators declined to reveal what punishment, if any, was given to the coaches.

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