Parent charged with attacking coach faces preliminary hearing

Dan Paterson, 51, will face a preliminary hearing on charges he attacked and threatened his daughter's basketball coach on Feb. 4.

He was charged with gross misdemeanor battery and could face up to a year in prison and $2,000 fine if convicted.

But his lawyer Mark Jackson told Carson Justice of the Peace Robey Willis Monday he hopes to negotiate a reduced charge with Chief Carson Deputy District Attorney Anne Langer.

"I believe we will be able to resolve it short of going to a preliminary hearing," said Jackson.

The incident was charged as a gross misdemeanor instead of a misdemeanor because the victim was a school district employee doing his job.

Jackson told Willis he anticipates it will be reduced to a plain misdemeanor.

According to Justin Pruett, girls' basketball coach at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School, Paterson attacked him following an Oct. 26 game at Eagle Valley Middle School, shoving him against a wall and threatening him.

Paterson denies the charge, saying he tried to approach Pruett after the game on behalf of his daughter, who is on the team, and that Pruett rebuffed him.

"I did not punch him or shove him," said Paterson in an earlier interview. "All I did was grab his collar."

Paterson, a retired teacher, said he thinks Pruett was partly to blame for the altercation and that he "handled the situation very unprofessionally."

"I'm disappointed with the way he responded and I'm disappointed with the way I responded," said Paterson in November. "Things have been blown out of proportion."


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