Ponaganset Middle School soccer coach fired over reports of alleged abuse

GLOCESTER, R.I. (WPRI) — A Ponagansett Middle School soccer coach is off the job, following an incident with a player earlier this month.

Initially, no one applied to be the soccer coach but the school committee appointed their co-chair Ronald Cervasio as an unpaid volunteer coach.

According to a Glocester Police report, on Friday October 14, 2016 several witnesses, including the assistant coach, watched 71-year-old head coach Ron Cervasio approach a boy who was sitting on the bench during the game.

Based on the witnesses’ accounts, the child’s father says Cervasio;

“…grabbed him by his ear bringing him to a standing position without saying a word…then escorted his son to the end of the bench while still pulling his ear”.

After the child’s parents learned of the incident, they reported it to Glocester Police.

“…prior to this incident there were several episodes where Ronald Cervasio was both verbally aggressive, (ie swearing) and verbally abusive behavior towards the players during the games and practice which all started from the beginning of the season” — Parents of reported victim

Once the incident was brought to the attention of the superintendent and middle school principal, Cervasio was removed from the team and is not allowed near the soccer team.

The parents are not pressing charges against the former coach.

The report claims the parents just wanted to have something on file in case any other incidents occur.

The team is currently being led by the assistant coach.