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Wrestling coach accused of picking player up by the neck during tournament

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Posted at 1:23 PM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 14:23:50-04

PITTSBURGH — By J. Gabriel Ware

A wrestling coach is facing charges after he allegedly assaulted a player at a junior competition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

A witness captured video of Eric Angle, 51, allegedly picking a young wrestler up by the neck and tossing him to the floor during the 2019 Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Championships at the University of Pittsburgh on March 16.

Steve Hoover, chairperson of Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling, the organization that hosted the competition, confirmed the authenticity of the video to ABC News. He said the alleged victim is between 11 and 12 years old.

“We immediately took action and [Angle] was ejected from the building,” Hoover told ABC News in a phone interview. “Eric has no affiliation with Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling nor has he ever been employed by us.”

Hoover said junior wrestlers bring their own coaches to the competition. They are often relatives of the competitors.

Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling is cooperating with authorities, according to Hoover.

Angle was arrested by University of Pittsburgh police and charged with simple assault, according to Joe Miksch, the director of media relations at the University of Pittsburgh.

The incident happened after the young wrestler lost a match, according to ABC News affiliate WTAE in Pittsburgh.

"I should have just walked away and let him get thrown out," Angle told WTAE. "Instead, I'm the one who embarrassed myself even more."

Miksch did not confirm if Angle is the brother of pro wrestler and WWE star Kurt Angle.

Kurt Angle, a Pennsylvania native, has a brother named Eric who is also a pro wrestler and has appeared on WWE programming.

ABC News' efforts to reach Eric Angle were unsuccessful.