Pair of Butte coaches arrested for battery

The reputation of Butte College’s football program took a hit last week, as two assistant coaches were arrested for allegedly crashing a family birthday party and beating up the hosts.

Timothy Garcia and Darren Johnson, both Chico State University alums in their 30s, were taken into custody Nov. 29 on battery charges after they allegedly showed up drunk and uninvited at a family gathering for Dina Mullen, Garcia’s ex-girlfriend, and attacked her and her husband when they where asked to leave, Mullen said.

Police confirmed that they arrested the pair on battery charges.

Dina Mullen said the unexpected visit was “quite the bummer of the evening.”

“It was just a full-out brawl in my room,” she said. “They had [her husband Louis] in a corner and just bashed him.”

Garcia and Johnson, who reportedly roomed together and coached at Butte for two years and four years respectively, brought 40-ounce bottles of malt liquor with them to Mullen’s house, Mullen said. When Garcia allegedly began to “hit on” Mullen’s 15-year-old niece, she said, the pair were asked to leave. At that point, she alleged, “they just started punching everybody.”

Dina Mullen was knocked unconscious in the melee, and her husband suffered numerous cuts on his face and bruises to his back and arms.

Mullen said she had dated Garcia for a few months about a year and half ago. They had remained friends, and Garcia would stop by to chat with her and her husband every once in a while. Mullen said she had noticed a change in Garcia in the last few months, saying that he had been having family troubles and had begun to tell her about getting into bar fights.

Both coaches have been suspended from Butte. Garcia, also a substitute teacher for the Chico Unified School District, has been barred from the classroom and will not return if found guilty. Mullen said Garcia had subbed for a teacher in her niece’s class at Pleasant Valley High School only a few days before.

Garcia was also involved in an incident that occurred earlier the night of the assault at North Valley Plaza, in which he allegedly hit a car in the parking lot, then threatened and spit on a witness, police said.

Butte College President Sandra Acebo said, if reports are true, the pair "will never work here again."