DENVER, Colo. (CBS News) — Police in Denver are investigation a cheerleading coach after cell phone video emerged that appears to show a young cheerleader being forced to perform a split.
Warning, the video is disturbing.
Ally Wakefield, a 13-year-old high school freshman, is heard screaming in agony while other cheerleaders held her, their coach pushing her leg down to do the splits.
She begged 9 times in less than 24 seconds for them to stop.
The coach, Ozell Williams, does gymnastic exhibitions at football games. Williams did not respond to a request from CBS News but told a local newspaper the videos were taken out of context and insisted this was normal training for splits.
He and other school administrators have been suspended following the video’s release.
Ally is now under the care of a physical therapist. The incident caused her muscle tissues to tear and her ligaments, as well as pulled her hamstrings.
The incident occurred in June, but the videos only just surfaced.
The school’s superintendent released a statement saying “the images and actions depicted are extremely distressing and absolutely contrary to our core values.
The Denver Police Department is investigating the incident and others involving Wakefield’s fellow cheerleaders. The families met with police in what may become a criminal investigation.