1. Archive


Police say the pair attacked a cheerleading coach after a dispute the night before.

A Tarpon Springs mother and daughter face felony burglary and battery charges after police say they beat up a recreational cheerleading coach.

Karen Joanne Wood, 41, and her daughter, Kyersten Wood, 16, were arrested Sept. 5 after Tarpon Springs police say they assaulted Sharell Ortiz, 34, at Jasmine Sports Complex.

Karen Wood remains in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. Kyersten Wood is in the Pinellas Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

According to the police report, here's what happened:

The trouble started Sept. 4 at a Tarpon Springs High School football game.

Ortiz saidshe was simply trying to break up a fight between her teenage daughter and Kyersten Wood. But Kyersten Wood contends that Ortiz tried to jump her.

Lt. Barbara Templeton, Tarpon Springs police spokeswoman, said Karen Wood called the department about 7:30 a.m. Sept. 5 and reported that her daughter had been "battered" by Ortiz.

About 6:30 p.m. the same day, Karen Wood and her daughter confronted Ortiz at the Jasmine Sports Complex, where she was coaching a recreational league cheerleader squad.

Ortiz told police Kyersten Wood "approached her in an aggressive manner and said 'wassup' holding her hands in the air."

Both Karen and Kyersten Wood began to have a physical altercation with Ortiz, who attempted to enter a small building at the complex to get away, the report said.

"Ortiz tried several times to close the door, but Kyersten and Karen continued to pull the door open," the report said.

Ortiz said Kyersten Wood began to hit her in the face, and both Karen and Kyersten Wood shoved her to the ground, the report said. They both were hitting her in the face.

Ortiz's left eye was swollen shut, and she had several bruises on her forehead and both arms, the report said.

Kyersten Wood told police that Ortiz picked up a large stick and struck her with it. Kyersten Wood also said she chased Ortiz into the building and hit her in the face.

There were no marks on Kyersten Wood, police said.

Karen Wood said she never hit Ortiz, but that she was there while her daughter hit Ortiz, the police report said. But an audio recording indicated differently.

While on the phone with police after the altercation Sept. 5, Karen Wood is recorded saying that "Ortiz struck her daughter last night, so she 'jumped' on her," the report said.

Police said Ortiz went to Helen Ellis Hospital for treatment.

Contacted Friday, Ortiz declined to comment.

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at or (727) 445-4174.