Taylor Hooton Foundation > Hoot’s Corner > General > New details emerge in steroids arrest of assistant Sayreville football coach
November 17, 2014
New details emerge in steroids arrest of assistant Sayreville football coach
Kevin Ciak, Sayreville President of Board of Education is questioned by the media after the Sayreville Board of Education meeting in Sayreville, NJ

Charlie Garcia, an assistant coach on theSayreville War Memorial High School football team, had just pulled an abrupt U-turn in the parking lot next to an America’s Best Value Inn in Bridgewater, flagging the attention of police. It was about 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 26, and a Bridgewater police officer tailing the vehicle suspected the driver was trying to avoid him, according to a police report. A few minutes later, while driving Route 22, Garcia’s red Dodge Ram switched lanes back and forth several times without using a blinker, prompting the police officer to run the license plate. Garcia’s driver’s license had been expired for more than a year, the report said. The officer pulled Garcia over on the side of Route 22 and detained him on the curb. Garcia, a South Plainfield resident, told the officer he had “nothing to hide:” He was on his way to the mall after leaving football practice in Sayreville. However, the mall where Garcia said he was headed was closing in 15 minutes, and police said he lied about whether he was in the motel parking lot. Cops called in a K9 unit from nearby Hillsborough, a Belgian malinois named Kondro. The dog alerted cops to the presence of narcotics when Garcia refused to let them search his car, the report states. Garcia then confessed, the police report says: He told them he had steroids in the center console and let them search his car. According to the police report, which was released Friday as a result of a public records request from NJ Advance Media, cops found 800 milligrams of Genesys Test 400 steroids and 14 individually packed syringes in the vehicle. Garcia was charged with possession of steroids and possession of syringes later that evening. Garcia’s arrest came just a week before hazing allegations shut down the Sayreville War Memorial High School football program, a controversy that school district officials say was completely unrelated. A day after Garcia was fired, the school was informed of a police investigation into the sexual assault of freshman football players by their upperclassmen teammates. Seven players will be tried as juveniles in the case on a range of charges, the most serious of which are aggravated sexual assault. The public records released Friday showed the school district reacted quickly to Garcia’s arrest. According to the documents — mostly emails among school officials — Superintendent Richard Labbe first emailed high-level district staff about the arrest of Garcia on Sept. 30. Labbe’s Sept. 30 email, sent at 9:36 a.m., is marked: “Importance: High.” “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news,” Labbe’s email states. The email went out at 9:36 a.m., about 10 minutes after the Bridgewater police chief sent Labbe a police report detailing the allegations. Labbe instructed his employees to fire Garcia, who was not a tenured teacher in the district but rather a part-time contract employee for the football program. In a follow-up email at 12:10 p.m., the school athletics director, John Kohutanycz, told Labbe that head football coach George Najjar had called Garcia to tell him that was being terminated from his position. “The news of Charles Garcia came as a shock,” wrote Kohutanycz. Three hours after receiving notice that he was going to be fired, Garcia emailed a letter of resignation to Labbe. Garcia wrote: “This letter is to inform you that I will be resigning as assistant football coach at Sayreville War Memorial High School, effective immediately.” District officials would not comment on the case. Garcia and his lawyer, Philip Nettl, did not respond to requests for comment about whether he immediately told anyone at the district about his arrest. Sayreville played a football game against Manalapan on Sept. 27. Labbe said at a public meeting on Oct. 2 that the school district and police department were investigating the possibility that Garcia provided steroids to student-athletes in Sayreville. Garcia’s lawyer has stated previously that “this has nothing to do with students.” Garcia has applied for pre-trial intervention in the case. At 6 a.m. on Oct. 1, Labbe told one of his employees to find a new assistant coach to replace Garcia, according to the e-mails. The roughly $8,000 stipend would be prorated for the rest of the season. Later that same day, the principal, James Brown, brought Labbe other news, according to an email from Labbe: Police were investigating the alleged hazing of freshmen in the football locker room of Sayreville War Memorial High School. http://www.nj.com/middlesex/index.ssf/2014/11/charles_garcia_steroids_arrest_sayreville.html