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Youth Wrestler Faked Handshake, Sucker Punched Opponent; Probe Launched

An investigation has been launched after a video showed an 8th grade wrestler faked a handshake and sucker-punched his opponent after a recent match, TMZ Sports reports.

The incident took place at River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois, on April 8 after reports of a SPAR Academy wrestler who won the 125-128 pound freestyle third-place match in the 'Beat The Streets' tournament suffering a bloody nose after it match concluded. The victor, who won 14-2, attempted to shake hands with his opponent before the offender suddenly punched him in the face.

Responding officers spoke with the victim and his parents, as well as the offender and his parents, upon arriving at the scene. The victim's parents declined to have him transported in an ambulance and requested to have the incident documented, though not initially pressing charges at the time.

One of the parents later contacted police on April 11 with the intention to pursue criminal charges, though none have been filed as of Tuesday (April 18), according to FOX 32 Chicago.

The victim was reported to have since been wearing a face mask during events while his nose continues to heal.

"He is making the best of the situation and is already back to training," SPAR Academy founder Justin Pearch told TMZ Sports on Tuesday. "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," Pearch added.

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