After it became known that Mark Mullan, the suspect in the March 25 DUI/homicides on NE 75th Street, had a connection to the North Seattle Baseball Association, NSBA President Chris Medina emailed parents in the organization about Mullan’s role.
We asked Medina if we could publish this message here, for the wider Northeast Seattle community, and he agreed. Medina also said he has received a tremendous outpouring of support from league members and the community in support of the league, and offers of support as volunteers since the event.
The date of this letter is March 26.
On Monday, tragedy struck our community when a driver struck several pedestrians on 75th in front of Eckstein Middle School. The NSBA Board of Directors extends our deepest condolences to the families of the 2 people who lost their lives, and to the 2 people who were critically injured. We cannot put into words the sadness that all of us in the community are feeling right now, but I felt it important to reach out right away to communicate openly so as to offer at least a gesture of caring and respect to our community.
The board of directors was mobilized early [Tuesday] morning. We asked our commissioners to communicate with their coaches in order to be prepared to talk to their players and parents about the incident, so that we can be able to have the dialogue that perhaps some families and players need in order to cope with the situation.
You may have read the newspaper or saw in the news the references to NSBA. Mark Mullan, the driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrians was wearing an NSBA sweatshirt at the time of the accident. While I do not know him personally, he is a former coach and former board member, but is not one of our current coaches or volunteers for this season. Mr. Mullan did not return as a coach to the league after last year, and it has been several years since he was a board member. We are in touch with the press, and we ask that all press inquiries be directed to me, or to the board.
As many of you know, we take coach (and player) conduct very seriously in our league. We highlighted a stronger stance and policy on policing coaches behavior at the outset of this season’s preparation and was again emphasized during our mandatory coaches training last month. As an all-volunteer organization, driven by you all, our membership, we focus very carefully on the player/child experience as well as on coach and parent experience. That means we must often rely on parents, coaches, and each other for reports on incidents that may have occurred. We have a disciplinary review committee that is formed according to our league by-laws, and we actively police each other. At any time, for a given action committed on or off the field, any volunteer can be dismissed for his/her conduct, or if in fact the league disciplinary review committee decides that as a proper course of action. Our biggest concern is the kids well-being.
Additionally, every head coach and assistant coach in our organization must submit their personal information as part of a criminal background questionnaire. This is a required action every season. Additionally, we take this a step further by submitting that information for every coach to the Washington State Patrol background check services called WATCH, a special service that has been offered to us at little or no cost, as we are an all volunteer non-profit organization. This is currently in progress, and is unfortunately a very manual process, so if you would like to assist to help us accelerate the process, please let us know as we would welcome the assistance at this very trying and busy time.
Again, our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by this tragedy.
Chris Medina, President NSBA