Video: Arvada High School basketball coach throws girl by her hair

Posted at 1:48 AM, Dec 13, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-15 11:02:07-05

It's a stunning video that is sure to spark debate.

A fight breaks out at a girls varsity basketball game between Arvada and Alameda High Schools.

As adults run onto the court to break it up, the Arvada High School coach grabs one of his players by her hair and throws her several feet to the ground.

The video shows one shocked fan in the stands pointing at what the coach had just done and raising his hands in disbelief.

The fallout?

The girl was kicked off the team and suspended from school. The coach, who also teaches at Arvada High School, was not punished.

Only minutes were left in the game last week between the rival schools.

When the fight erupted, Areeon Frilot, a sophomore player, was sitting on the Arvada High bench.

"Everybody just ran to the fight," Areeon told 7NEWS in an exclusive interview that aired Friday.

"My intentions were to go and break up the fight and grab my girl off of their girl," the teen said.

But she never made it to the tangle of fighting players.

"I got to about the three point line and that's when I felt someone grab my hair from the back and throw me," Areeon said. "My first reaction was that I just got thrown by another girl from the team."

As the video shows, it was no girl. It was her head coach, Roger Griffin, who grabbed her by the hair and tossed the girl down.

"I was just shocked, like I can't believe that the one person I trusted out of everybody in school was the one to do that to me," the teen said.

Arvada and Alameda High Schools have a history.

The girls' teams fought in a game last year -- and Areeon was involved it. She also admits that she got into another fight at school.

But Areeon said her past and leaving the bench does not justify her punishment -- a five-day school suspension and being kicked off the team. She stressed that she never got involved in the fight.

"They didn't even give me the benefit of the doubt when I didn't do anything. It's just like it shows you don't have any hope or faith in your students to change," the sophomore said.

Now Areeon and her mother are upset over how they've been treated by the Jefferson County Public Schools -- and the coach.

Areeon's mom, Melissa Martinez, said she went down to the court and confronted the coach after seeing him toss her daughter down.

"There was no, 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, it was an accident.' He was just as angry as I was. Like I had assaulted his child," the mother said.

"I just got no respect at all from the administration," Areeon said. "None of them even asked if I was OK the next day, like they were all just pointing fingers, making themselves look like the better person."

"It hurts me to know that I can't play anymore," the girl said.

Areeon, however, admitted that the coach had warned the team before the game to not fight -- or leave the bench. He said that he'd step in if necessary.

But the coach wasn't disciplined for what he did.

The girl's mother complained to Lakewood police, who investigated the incident. Police told Martinez Friday that the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office had decided to not file charges.

7NEWS asked the school district if they wanted to comment about what happened. 

A district spokeswoman simply said that since the district attorney wasn't filing charges, they considered the matter closed.