A youth basketball coach who fired a gun into the air during a confrontation at a recreation-center game in Southwest Philadelphia surrendered to police Monday afternoon.
Maurice Tavares, 26, of Chester, was expected to be charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, and related offenses in the incident around 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Christy Recreation Center in the 700 block of South 55th Street.
Tavares' visiting team of teenage boys had been leading in the game, but the local team began a comeback, said Lt. John F. Walker of Southwest Detectives.
It was then that Tavares got into heated exchanges with spectators, Walker said. The opposing coach, a 45-year-old man, tried to defuse the situation, but Tavares began arguing with him.
Tavares, who has a permit to carry a concealed firearm in Philadelphia, pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and fired a shot above the opposing coach and bleachers, striking a window, Walker said.
Pandemonium erupted as people tried to flee through a single exit, Walker said. Tavares ran out and drove away.
No one was injured.
Tavares' lawyer, Eugene P. Tinari, said his client was confronted by a group of 15 to 20 angry spectators who were "backing him against the wall."
Tavares "had no means of escape" and "felt he was justified" to fire his gun in the air, Tinari said.
Tavares, a father of three who works at a day-care center, got his permit after being shot in a leg a few years ago during a basketball game he was coaching, Tinari said.
"He acted within the bounds of the law," Tinari said of his client's action on Saturday.