COOPER CITY, Fla. – The moments leading up to a school gym scare during a youth basketball game were captured on camera.
A coach was confronted by a man police say had a knife in his pocket, sending parents fleeing with their children.
The basketball game was for children seven and eight years old and held in the Cooper City High School gym.
Parents told Local 10 News’ Roy Ramos that during the game, a man with a gray hoodie walked in, confronted their son’s coach and threatened him.
“We were watching our children play and all of a sudden, you see parents grabbing their kids and running all throughout the gym going through different exists out the door,” said a concerned parent who did not want to give their name.
The referee was forced to cancel the game. Fortunately, an off duty Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy escorted the man outside after he appeared to reach for a weapon in his pocket.
“We didn’t know at the time what it was so that’s why at the time all the parents were grabbing their children, trying to get out of the gym that we were in because we didn’t know what was going to happen,” the parent said.
That man has been identified as 32-year-old Bryant Ezeamama.
According to his arrest report, he was taken into custody after deputies discovered that what he was reaching for was a knife.
The incident was so alarming that parents took to the Facebook group Cooper City Buzz to voice their concerns about the lack of security at the sporting events held by the Optimist Club of Cooper City, particularly events on school campuses.
Local 10 News reached out to the Optimist Club of Cooper City to find out what they are doing about security at their events, but at the time of this story airing, they had not responded.
Ezeamama faces charges that include possession of a weapon on school grounds and disturbing the peace.