Wrestling Coach, Student Charged With Disorderly Conduct

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Police say following an exchange of words and a brief scuffle on school grounds, the Payson High School wrestling coach and a student were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Student Ryan Alan Abraham, 18, and wrestling coach Travis Koppenhafer, 28, were cited and released Dec. 10 following a Dec. 7 incident in the school’s weight room, said school resource officer Jared Meredith.

On Dec. 7, Abraham reportedly made several statements about Koppenhafer’s wife that Koppenhafer didn’t take too fondly, Meredith said. Koppenhafer pulled Abraham off the chair he was sitting on and put him on the ground, telling him not to speak that way about his wife.

Two days following the incident Abraham and his father went to high school principal Roy Sandoval’s office and reported it.

At the time, Abraham was confused if he wanted to press charges against Koppenhafer, but his father insisted he did, Meredith said.

When police arrived, they decided to charge both men with disorderly conduct, Abraham for "provoking" and Koppenhafer for "grabbing," Meredith said.

Koppenhafer was placed on a leave of absence and has not attended wrestling practices or matches since the incident.

Koppenhafer has taught physical education at PHS for two years.

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