In Defense of Jim Dowd
The way the justice system seems to work these days is you are guilty until proven innocent which of course is not the way it’s supposed to be.
You can blame that on several factors not the least of which is a “rush to judgment” mentality that seems to exist everywhere. Throw in that stories spread like wild fire through social media outlets and of course everyone can now offer an opinion, even if nobody is asking for it.
I bring this up because Jim Dowd’s name is in the news and for the first time since he was a hockey player at Brick Township High School it’s not for something positive. Dowd, who turned 46 on Christmas Day, is best known for a 17-year NHL career which saw him help the New Jersey Devils win a Stanley Cup in 1995. Following his retirement Dowd has done some work for NHL Radio and the Devils alumni organization and last spring he was named the head coach of the Manasquan-Point Pleasant Beach hockey team.
The team, which includes Dowd’s son, played Red Bank last Thursday at Jersey Shore Arena and a couple of days after the game the parent of a 16-year-old Red Bank player filed a complaint against Dowd for allegedly kicking the teenager in the back during the game. The story broke late Sunday and clearly got more attention because Dowd was part of it.
He waived his court appearance in Wall Tuesday and a new court date will likely be set next week. Meanwhile the Wall Police Department is continuing its investigation of the simple assault complaint and during this period Dowd will not be coaching the team; he has been temporarily relieved of his duties by the school superintendent.
I have known Jimmy since his high school days. He was WOBM’S Athlete of the Year in 1986. He has been nothing but a model citizen and an asset to the shore area while lending his name and time to several organizations. His Shoot for the Stars Foundation holds an annual high school All-Star game each summer to raise money for charitable causes and individuals.
Unlike others I will treat him as innocent until proven guilty and will let the story play itself out. He’s earned that and deserves that.