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High School Water Polo Player Arrested After Attack

Crime

Water Polo ball in Pool | Image by Shutterstock

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A high school student from Flower Mound was arrested in connection with a violent attack that happened during a water polo match in Keller.

An athlete from Edward S. Marcus High School, Chase Dion, was arrested and charged with assaulting a St. Mark’s player during a water polo match on April 15.

Officials say the assault happened after a student from St. Mark’s scored a winning goal in the final seconds of the match.

A video obtained by The Dallas Morning News appears to show 17-year-old Dion striking the player from St. Mark’s.

The alleged assailant appeared to hit the victim eight times in the head with a closed fist and held him underwater, according to the news outlet.

Players swam over to the two, and both teams cleared the pool.

The victim was held underwater after getting hit, but he swam away on his own. He was later taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a corneal abrasion to his left eye.

The identity of the St. Mark’s player has not been released.

A Keller Police Department report said that Dion was charged with a Class A misdemeanor of assault causing bodily injury. He was released on a bond of $2,500.

“In my time here, which is not short, I don’t recall us having a situation where we’re adding an activity, and there were serious allegations against a participating school,” said UIL Deputy Executive Director Jamey Harrison in response to the case.

The incident marks a rare instance of criminal charges resulting from an on-field fight.

In the past, the UIL has suspended athletes charged with on-field crimes. Water polo, however, is yet to become a UIL sport and is overseen by the Texas Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association.

Water polo is set to become a UIL sport in the next school year.

Harrison added that UIL cannot determine how it will react to the case at this stage.

“We don’t have all the facts yet,” Jamey said.

“We’ve had fights, we’ve had fights that involved one person swinging in different sports over the years and have addressed all of those based on all the facts. That has landed on short suspensions to lengthy suspensions. Unfortunately, we’ve had instances where student-athletes have assaulted officials. Those have seen multi-year or career-ending kind of UIL suspensions,” he continued.

It is not known if Dion will be allowed to continue playing in the UIL.

“There are state laws for certain behaviors if committed on school campus or even off school campus, depending on what the offense is, that land a kid in a disciplinary alternative education program,” Harrison said.

Harrison further explained that if Dion is in an alternative disciplinary program, he will not be eligible for UIL activities.

Mike Waldmann, TISCA president, said that the organization has no comment on the incident. According to the DMN, a letter from TISCA water polo Chairman Scott Slay said that Dion was suspended for the remainder of the 2022 season. Hence, he did not participate in the state water polo tournament held on May 6 and 7.

Lewisville ISD released a statement in response to the incident.

“We are aware of the situation involving a club water polo team comprised of Marcus students and coached by a Marcus staff member,” the statement read. “District officials have been in contact with the injured student’s family and with St. Mark’s School to express the district’s extreme disappointment with the actions taken by the Marcus student. Clearly this is not behavior the campus or the district condones, and the actions do not meet LISD’s high standards for student conduct.”

LISD further said that it would take further disciplinary actions against Dion. However, the district did not provide details, citing a federal law prohibiting administrators from “disclosing any specific disciplinary actions taken against a student.”

The family of the St. Mark’s player released a statement thanking the school, the water polo community, and concerned parents “for their overwhelming support.”

The family also expressed appreciation for the Keller police investigation.

Dion’s father, Brandon Dion, who is also the Marcus head coach, has declined requests for comment.

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