UPDATE, Aug. 30 at 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.: Suspect has a criminal record for previous violent crimes.
Prince William Police arrested a father for assaulting his child's travel coach at Hellwig Park during an NVSC [Northern Virginia Soccer Club] Travel preseason scrimmage, Saturday. The accused, Blerand Hoxha, was previously arrested in 2012 for shooting two men at a Sheetz convenience store in Manassas Park.
Officers responded to George Hellwig Memorial Park, located at 14418 Bristow Road in Manassas, Aug. 26 at 1:47 p.m., to investigate an assault.
"The investigation revealed during a soccer game, one of the attendees, later identified as the accused (Blerand Hoxha), struck a 46-year-old man in the head with a metal water bottle multiple times before fleeing on foot," said Prince William County Police PIO Renee Carr.
Attendees reported the incident to the police, while Prince William County Park Rangers came to assist.
While checking the area, police officers located the accused and took him into custody without incident. The victim was treated at the scene for injuries. Officers determined the parties were known to one another.
Following the investigation, police arrested Blerand Hoxha, 45, of Cabot Court in Manassas. Hoxha was charged with malicious wounding. His court date is pending. He is being held without bond.
InsideNova reported that Blerand Hoxha has a criminal record. According to multiple media sources, Manassas Park Police arrested Hoxha in 2012. Hoxha allegedly shot a 22-year-old Manassas man and a 46-year-old Manassas park man at a Sheetz on Centreville Road on Dec. 22, 2012.
Hoxha was charged with two counts of malicious wounding, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and shooting into an occupied vehicle. The victims were taken to the hospital as a result of their injuries. Prince William Times reported that in 2014 Hoxha pled guilty to those charges and was sentenced to 10 years in prison with six suspended.
Aug. 29, the NVSC Board sent its parents an email explaining the incident and how their organization is responding to it.
"The attack was a blindside, no-warning attack which left the coach with serious injuries," the email stated. "The good news is that the NVSC coach is recovering at home at this time and will be back on the pitch as his recovery allows."
The NVSC has suspended the Hoxha from all NVSC activities at home and away indefinitely.
"NVSC is also taking steps to assess the situation as a whole to determine what steps that the club might be able to do to prevent further such incidents," it said. "This is the first time in our club’s history that anything of this egregious nature has occurred and hope it will be the last."
Vince Villanueva was the victim of the assault. He is an IT professional with Prince William County Schools who also coaches a girls' soccer team at Potomac High School.
Villanueva spoke to NBC4, explaining how fast it all happened. He told the news station the escalation of violence at youth sports games is concerning.
“My big thing is, just allow your kids to enjoy it,” he said. “Let the volunteers and people that are out there trying to help your kids, allow them to do that too, and support them.”
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