Ex-Chipman coach charged after allegedly menacing wrestler

HARRINGTON – A 36-year-old Frederica man was arrested  after investigation into a terroristic threatening complaint while he was head wrestling coach at W. T. Chipman Middle School, police said Friday.

James N. McNeil turned himself in to Harrington Police Thursday and was charged with aggravated menacing, carrying a concealed deadly weapon (firearm) and third-degree assault regarding an alleged incident on Dec. 5 involving a 13-year-old male wrestler he coached, spokesman Capt. Earl K. Brode said.

Officials said in the immediate aftermath that Mr. McNeil was removed from the coaching position by the Lake Forest School District and also placed on administrative leave without pay by his Delaware Department of Correction employer.

According to Harrington Police, officers were called to the school entrance at approximately 5:01 p.m. and contacted the wrestler. Investigation determined that Mr. McNeil and the wrestler allegedly argued during practice and the coach later pointed a handgun at the juvenile in a restroom.

Also, according to police, Mr. McNeil allegedly slammed the wrestler against a wall and attempted to choke him.

Harrington Police Chief Norman Barlow said the handgun’s make was unknown and it was seized and placed into evidence. It will be held pending outcome of the case, authorities said. There was a loaded magazine in the weapon but not the chamber , the chief said.

Mr. McNeil was contacted on the night of the alleged incident, police said.

Harrington Police consulted with the Attorney General’s Office and arrest warrants were obtained, authorities said.

Mr. McNeil was arraigned via video phone at Justice of the Peace Court 2 in Rehoboth Beach and released on $11,000 unsecured bond.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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