MASON, Ohio (FOX19) - Two adults are facing charges for a fight that happened outside of a middle school volleyball game, police say.
Mason police say Gerald Gertz, Jr., 38, and Sarah Hatfield, 38, are both charged with felonious assault for the severe beating of Raymond Phipps, 43.
Both Gertz and Hatfield appeared before a Warren County Judge Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.
The incident happened Friday at 9:44 p.m. at St. Susanna School at 500 Reading Road.
According to a police report, officers arrived to find Phipps beaten ‘badly’ and in need of an EMS response.
*Warning: Images below may be found to be graphic and disturbing to some readers.
Phipps told police he was in a verbal argument with another parent at the girl’s middle school volleyball game when he left to go home.
He said while he was on the phone, he was attacked from behind and thrown to the ground by Gertz who began punching and kicking him in the head and face.
Phipps said while he was on the ground, he saw a woman later identified by a witness as Sarah Hatfield standing over him kicking and stomping on his face and neck.
Police say Gertz was gone by the time they arrived and Phipps was taken to West Chester UC to be treated for swelling and bleeding from his head and face.
Police say they talked to Phipps’ wife Amanda Phipps who said she was on the phone with her husband at the time of the attack and heard him screaming and ‘making noises’ so she ran outside to find him.
She said when she found her husband outside, Gertz and Hatfield were standing over him attacking him. Amanda Phipps said she immediately called 911 for help and Gertz ran to his vehicle and left the scene.
Hatfield was placed under arrest and taken to the Warren County Jail and booked for assault, documents say.
The police report also states officers spoke with Brian Gilligan who says he witnessed the argument between Phipps and Gertz inside the school gym.
Gilligan says he saw Phipps leave the game following the argument and Gertz followed closely behind with Hatfield also following the two men out.
He said he heard yelling and screaming outside and found Phipps beaten and bleeding from head and face injuries.
Police say Gertz later called them to say he was the other person involved in the fight.
The police report states he was given the option to turn himself in or a warrant would be filed.
Police say Gertz originally agreed to turn himself in but asked what he was supposed to do when someone points their finger at him and tells him to ‘f--- off.’
Documents say he asked if he was going to jail and police told him, “yes you are being charged with assault.”
Gertz then changed his mind about turning himself in, police say, telling them he won’t turn himself in unless Phipps also goes to jail.
Police told Gertz this was a non-negotiable situation and advised him that it would look better to a judge if he turned himself in and cooperated, but he refused.
Officers say they told him they were filing a warrant for his arrest and Gertz told them, “you don’t know where I live, I have three houses.”
The officer on the phone with Gertz told him that information didn’t matter to him and hung up.
Gertz called back about 10 minutes later and said he would turn himself in when he got an attorney, the report says, and the officer told him he would still be filing an arrest warrant.
He told the officer he would be at the station in 10 minutes to turn himself in.
Upon arrival to the Mason Police Department, Gertz was placed under arrest and taken to the Warren County Jail.
Police say they went to West Chester UC Hospital for a follow up interview with Phipps, but he was in such bad shape and experiencing so much pain that he was not able to speak or write.
Monday, police say they spoke with the person at St. Susanna in charge of security cameras.
Police reviewed the footage but found that it was unusable because it only shows shadows of people in front of the entrance at the school gym.
The St. Susanna Boosters and Greater Cincinnati Catholic Youth Sports sent this letter:
"As many of you are aware from local news reports, an incident occurred at a girls volleyball game last Friday, September 27th involving parents from separate parishes. The case is currently being handled by the City of Mason Police, and the GCCYS will not make any comment. GCCYS considers this to be an isolated incident, and all involved parties are indefinitely suspended from all future GCCYS events.
The GCCYS was founded to serve as a youth athletics ministry for the Catholic youth of Greater Cincinnati. The league is a volunteer run organization that strives to provide a safe environment for our student-athletes to compete with and against their friends with shared Catholic Christian values and in compliance with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Charter on Catholic Youth Athletics.
As parents, coaches, and coordinators, we ask you to join us in continuing to demonstrate good sportsmanship and Christian values that are routinely exhibited at each of our member parishes and schools every weekend. Please remember that our collective mission includes teaching appropriate sportsmanship, compassion, and charity for others as well as “coaching the game”, and our youth look to us to model appropriate behavior every day. GCCYS member parishes and schools hosted 246 volleyball matches this weekend without incident. This speaks to the great number of coaches, referees and parents who work to make the league a great place for our kids to play.
Previously, Parish Coordinators voted to implement a “Zero Tolerance” policy which allows the GCCYS to suspend and/or expel any party involved in behavior detrimental to a positive experience for the players, coaches, and referees. This policy remains in effect.
We thank those parents and volunteers that continue to demonstrate exemplary behavior for our student-athletes. As we gather at half court for prayer prior to our matches this weekend please include a special prayer for those involved in the events of last weekend and, as always, for all our players, coaches, referees and parents.
Thank you for your time and dedication to the kids."
The police report says officers coordinated Monday with Bethany Bennet from the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office to give an update on Phipps’ condition.
The report states that since the attack, Phipps was diagnosed with two cracked ribs, a crushed bone in his left wrist, his teeth were kicked out, and he had a perichondrial hematoma to his left ear.
Bennet told police to update the charges from a misdemeanor to a felony due to the severity of the injuries.
Later Monday night, Phipps was able to give a digital statement about the attack and told police he was diagnosed with a lacerated liver and kidney at a doctor’s appointment he had just come from.
Tuesday morning, it was revealed in court that Gertz and Hatfield were at St. Susanna School supporting the opposing team Friday.
A judge ordered Gertz to have no contact with the victim or the school and banned him from attending any sporting event, “wherever they may be held.”
Gertz paid his original bond for misdemeanor assault at $5,000, and the judge did not order any additional bond. However, the judge did agree with the state on Gertz’s release conditions and ordered he remain on pre-trial supervision with GPS monitoring and house arrest but will be granted work release.
His current charge of assault carries a possible penalty of 180 days in jail, and his new charge of felonious assault comes with a potential sentence of two to eight years in prison.
His next court appearance is Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. He says he plans to hire an attorney.
Hatfield faces the same charges as Gertz.
A judge ordered the same bond conditions for Hatfield as Gertz. She also plans to hire an attorney and her next court appearance will also be Oct. 8 at 2 p.m.