Ex-Blast coach Wittman gets 3 years of informal probation

Pro Soccer

September 06, 2006|By Jagdip Dhillon | Jagdip Dhillon,Special to The Sun

Stockton, Calif. -- Former Blast coach Tim Wittman yesterday pleaded no contest to two counts of misdemeanor battery, almost six months after allegedly attacking two game officials after a Major Indoor Soccer League game.

Wittman was sentenced to three years of informal probation by District Court Judge Bernhard Gerber and 240 hours of community service that must be served by March 1. Wittman will be allowed to perform the community service in Maryland.

Wittman appeared in court with attorney Harry Hudson and avoided a jury trial with his plea, according to Keith McIntosh, deputy district attorney for San Joaquin County.

Wittman was charged with two counts of violating a California law that pertains to battery committed against a sports official.

"He chose not to exercise his right to a jury trial," McIntosh said. "Our office is satisfied because he didn't contest his culpability."

Wittman traveled to California to make his plea and said he just wanted it to be over.

"This was the best of all situations for me right now," said Wittman, who emphasized that he wanted it over for his family's sake. "It's been going on and on and on. I'm fine with it."

McIntosh said informal probation means Wittman will not have to report to an officer and just has to stay out of legal trouble. Wittman could be sentenced up to one year of jail time for both counts if he violates the probation.

Wittman allegedly attacked two game officials after a match against the California Cougars on March 18 at Stockton Arena. Wittman was suspended for the rest of the season by the MISL on March 20, and the suspension was extended for two seasons on April 24.

Wittman has been working with an English developmental pro team in Baltimore as his days with the Blast appear to be finished.

"I just wish that certain people with the Blast had supported me more," Wittman said.

Jeff Seidel contributed to this article.

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