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March 23, 2017

Bucks County baseball coach charged with strangling 12-year-old

Kenneth Irwin, coach of the Upper Moreland High School baseball team, has been put on administrative leave

Police Assault Charges
03232017_Kenneth Irwin_NTPD Source/Newtown Township Police Department

Kenneth Irwin, 52, of Upper Moreland was charged after an incident with a 12-year-old baseball player at a sports facility in Bucks County.

A Bucks County baseball coach was charged with assaulting a 12-year-old boy during a baseball tryout last month at the Newtown Athletic Club, Newtown Township police announced on Wednesday.

Kenneth Irwin, 52, of Upper Moreland, was charged March 2 with strangulation, disorderly conduct and harassment, according to court records.

Irwin, who also coaches the Upper Moreland High School baseball team, allegedly choked the boy during an altercation that occurred as a tryout for the Newtown Premier Baseball League concluded, according to the Bucks County Courier Times.


The NAC Sports Training Center on Pheasant Lane in Newtown Township.

The incident began when Irwin tossed a plastic bucket at the boy as players cleaned up, the newspaper reported. The bucket hit the boy in the head, prompting him to throw baseballs toward Irwin, striking him in the leg. Irwin allegedly charged the boy as he picked up another boy, telling him to drop the ball before pushing the child and squeezing the boy's neck.

The boy struggled to breathe and became tangled in the batting cage netting before being pushed into a wall by Irwin, the newspaper reported.

The Upper Moreland School District has placed Irwin on administrative leave.

The Newtown Athletic Club released a statement noting Irwin has "no affiliation with the training center or its employees."

"We dealt swiftly and (accordingly) with this situation by reporting this to the police as soon as it came to our attention," the statement read. "We are saddened by this incident and are in complete cooperation with the police in order to come to a proper resolution." 

Irwin has a preliminary hearing scheduled Monday before Judge Michael W. Petrucci.