WATCH: There’s shock in Nanaimo where an assistant coach for minor football has been arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Thirty-year-old Levar Hayden has volunteered for the past year-and-a-half with nine to 12-year-old players, helping them learn the game, but he is now is facing 6 counts of drug trafficking for what RCMP allege he was doing off the field. Skye Ryan reports.
James Little’s never seen his 12-year-old son prouder of himself than on the football field. He credits Nanaimo Minor Football and its coaches with turning his son’s life around.
“Compared to seeing him in the back of a cop car to playing a sport it’s quite nice,” said Little. “Because he was going down a dark path I’ll say and in the two weeks he’s turned his life around.
So the Nanaimo dad is struggling with news that’s hit the South-Side Minor Football Association (SSMFA) and its volunteer coaching staff from out of left field. Assistant coach Levar Hayden, who taught tackling skills to peewee players, has been arrested and charged with six counts of drug trafficking. RCMP say a police search of his home turned up 49 grams of suspected methamphetamine and 15 grams of heroin/fentanyl along with stolen credit cards and a switchblade.
“Kind of surprised being a coach, think you’d sort of have a little more sense to not be doing that kind of stuff with kids,” said Little.
The former UBC player had been volunteering for the past year-and-a-half with SSMFA. Officials say he was popular and good at what he did until things ended abruptly during an evening practice of nine 12-year-olds Thursday evening. The SSMFA tells CHEK News that no sooner did Hayden step off the field than RCMP moved in.
SSMFA says they ran thorough background checks on the assistant coach that turned up nothing.
“We find ourselves completely surprised, shocked and dismayed by the actions of this person,” wrote Rob Stevenson, SSMFA president, in a statement to CHEK News.
“There was zero previous behaviour that have given us any indication of his activities/lifestyle and we were functionally blind to it,” continued Stevenson.” “We are heartbroken.”
SSMFA says it has “now and forever ended any affiliation with the man.”
Levar Hayden’s next court appearance in Nanaimo is Oct. 26.