The mother of a Southern California teenager seen in a viral video sucker-punching a 15-year-old opponent during a youth basketball game is now facing charges for “yelling at her daughter to hit another child,” prosecutors say.
Latira Hunt has been charged with one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of battery following the incident that occurred during the game in Garden Grove in November, the Orange County Attorney’s Office announced. Fox News isn’t identifying the teen seen punching Alice Ham’s daughter because she is a minor – but she is the child of former Chicago Bulls player Corey Benjamin, according to FOX11 Los Angeles.
“It is unconscionable that a parent would encourage her child to engage in violence during a sporting event,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a statement. “Youth sports are invaluable in teaching our children discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship.”
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“We as parents have the fundamental responsibility to raise our children to be good human beings who treat others with kindness and humanity,” he added.
Hunt, a 44-year-old from La Puente in the Los Angeles area, faces up to a year in jail if convicted on all counts, prosecutors say.
Prosecutors allege Hunt was in the stands at the MAPS sports facility in Garden Grove on Nov. 7 when she yelled “’you better hit her for that’ to her daughter after she had [an] interaction with a rival player on the court.”
“Seconds later, the rival player fell to the court after an unprovoked attack,” the attorney’s office said.
Alice Ham posted video to social media that was taken from the club basketball game showing the brutal punch.
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The video shows a teen missing a three-point shot before falling into Ham’s 15-year-old daughter, who was playing defense. As the two players walk down the court, the teen can be seen throwing a punch at Ham’s daughter, hitting her in the head and knocking her to the floor.
Since the hit, Ham said her daughter had been unable to attend school. The mother told other local news outlets that her daughter was out on concussion protocol.
“Once her teammate showed me the clip, I was absolutely horrified, shocked, just completely disgusted by what I saw,” Ham told FOX11 Los Angeles.
As for the teen seen throwing the punch, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said it “is prohibited from discussing anything related to juvenile investigations.”
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Her father, Corey Benjamin, posted on social media after the incident that he was “shocked and disappointed at my daughter’s behavior as this is not a reflection of the values and standards that my family holds,” according to FOX11 Los Angeles.
“To the young lady who was punched by my daughter during a youth basketball game, I sincerely apologize to you and I am praying for your complete healing both physically and emotionally,” he reportedly added. “To her family, I deeply apologize and regret that this happened to your daughter as she did not deserve this to happen to her.
Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.