CLEVELAND, Texas - A Cleveland High School football player is making a plea for help on social media after he says he was wrongfully arrested from his football game on Friday.
It was the last game of Stephan Hughey's high school career but the senior is going to remember it for all the wrong reasons.
So Hughey turned to Change.org pleading with the public to sign a petition, as he says he was not only unjustly ejected from Friday's football game but also arrested.
"It's sad. It should have been a school matter,” says a group of girls who are schoolmates with Hughey.
"I really think it should have been a school matter instead of the police being involved,” family friend Joann Ross echoes the sentiment.
According to Hughey, during Friday's game when he fell to the ground out of bounds on the opposing team's sideline, he was struck from behind and was “surrounded by seven Caney Creek” players.
Hughey says he got up and “swung in defense” and was thrown out of the game in what he calls a “double standard.” Hughey was then arrested and taken to jail.
“That's way too harsh because it messed up his career and everything,” says Hughey's friend 17-year-old Treyvion Jordan.
In fact, Hughey says he's being sent to an alternative school, won't be allowed to graduate with his class, and is facing a felony charge. Although, according to him, he's never been in trouble before, is a mentor, and is active in his church.
“He's a good kid. He's a darned good kid. (How long have you known him?) All his life," explains Ross.
"He's a really nice guy. We knew him since middle school. He's a really caring person,” the girls add.
“He's a good friend. A great person and pretty goofy too. Yeah he's pretty funny,” says Jordan.
Hughey is now out of jail on bond and has more than 4,500 signatures on his online petition.
Cleveland ISD says an investigation is underway.