A popular Denver high school cheerleading coach has been fired amid allegations that he forced a 13-year-old girl into leg splits that resulted in a leg injury.
Ozell Williams was ousted as cheerleading coach of East High School in Denver, CO. on Friday, after disturbing video emerged showing him holding down freshman Ally Wakefield and forcing her into a leg split while she begged “Please stop.”
Several cheerleaders are also seen in the video holding Ally’s arms to prevent her from escaping.
Denver police are investigation the video and the allegations of child abuse against other cheerleaders.
Ally is an incoming freshman at East High School. Her parents say she suffered a leg injury as a result of the forced leg splits.
But Williams told the Denver Post that Ally’s screams of “Please stop,” were taken out of context.
“You can definitely say that what was in the video could be seen in a different light,” Williams said on Thursday. “I would love to tell my story, but I can’t say anything else at this time.”
KUSA-Channel 9 obtained eight cell phone videos of Williams forcing other cheerleaders into leg splits and each girl screams in pain.
Denver Public Schools superintendent Tom Boasberg suspended Williams and 4 other school officials, including his assistant cheerleader coach, the school’s principal and assistant principal, and the Denver Public Schools’ deputy general counsel.
Williams was terminated on Friday.
“We do not and will not allow any situation in which a student is forced to perform an activity or exercise beyond the point at which they express their desire to stop,” Boasberg said in a statement on Thursday.
Williams is a well-known instructor who is often seen doing backflips down the field during Denver Broncos games. He is the founder of the Mile High Tumblers club and he also appeared on America’s Got Talent.
Williams has taken leave from teaching tumbling classes at Mile High Tumblers while the investigation is ongoing.