CLIFFVIEW PILOT SCOOP: A wrestling coach was caught on video punching a 10-year-old student in the stomach at a Teterboro gym and then continuing to hit the youth after he’d fallen down, Bergen County Police said.
Matthew Wernikoff (MUGSHOT: Bergen County PD)
Matthew Wernikoff , 28, of Monroe, N.Y., was released without bail pending a grand jury action on assault and child endangerment charges.
Wernikoff rented time and space from Gold’s Gym on Hollister Road to operate a training program for wrestlers.
While instructing another young wrestler, he inexplicably punched the other boy in the stomach “with enough force to knock him to the ground and double over in pain,” Bergen County Police Chief Brian A. Higgins said.
He then stood over the defenseless youngster “and struck him several more times in the arm, causing swelling and bruising,” Higgins said.
The boy ran out and told his mother what had happened, and she called the county police, who patrol that section of Teterboro.
Higgins said Gold’s Gym “cooperated fully with the investigation and turned over a video recording of the incident, which was instrumental in the filing of charges.”