The Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) today arrested South Walton High School football coach James David Barron, 58, of Freeport Fla., for child abuse, a third-degree felony.
The investigation began Oct. 13 after the WCSO received allegations that Barron intentionally struck a juvenile football player in the throat during an Oct.12 football practice session at South Walton High School.
“Football coaches traditionally serve as role models who teach students the value of discipline, competitiveness and sportsmanship,” said Walton County Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. “Mr. Barron’s actions go far beyond the toughness expected in football. Teaching players to strike others in the throat is excessive and unnecessarily puts students in harms way.”
The investigation revealed that Barron allegedly used a medical neck brace during football practice sessions as a teaching tool to instruct football players to use a throat thrust technique to injure other football players. There is no evidence to support this technique being used during an official football game.
Barron was booked into the Walton County Jail.