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DES PLAINES, IL – An Illinois high school wrestler is currently under police investigation for brutally sucker punching an opponent after losing to him in a match, with the entire incident caught on bystander video.
Maine West High School’s Hafid Alicea had just lost a third-place 125-128 pound match against Cooper Corder of SPAR Academy at the 2023 Beat the Streets Developmental FS tournament that took place in Oak Park, Illinois. Cooper had defeated Alicea – both eighth graders – by an overwhelming score of 14-2.
However, when Corder went in to give a customary post-match handshake in a show of good sportsmanship, Alicea – evidently a sore loser – is seen on video instead punching his opponent directly in the face and immediately dropping him to the floor.
Alicea then appears to be escorted away by a match official as members of the audience expressed shock and anger over his actions; bystanders can be seen scrambling to assist the prone Corder.
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Corder suffered an injury to his nose and is now forced to wear a face mask while wrestling, according to SPAR Academy founder Justin Pearch.
“He is making the best of the situation and is already back to training,” he said of Corder. “As you may know, wrestling matches can get heated but nothing leading up to the punch would give cause to such bad decision-making on the opponent’s part. It’s not tolerated in our sport and Spar Wrestling will never condone that behavior.”
The Oak Park Police Department has announced that they are officially looking into the incident, and depending on the outcome of the investigation, Alicea could face criminal charges. It is currently unknown what disciplinary actions he potentially faces from wrestling officials.
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