CERES -- A swim coach in Stanislaus County has been arrested.
The Ceres Police Department has arrested Tracy Bull on suspicion of engaging a minor in an "inappropriate communication." The department would not say the victim’s gender. Investigators have released that the allegations stem from Bull’s time as head swim coach of the Ceres Dolphins, a group that practices at Ceres High School.
Bull is a well-known figure in Ceres, but this week some of his support turned into anger.
“Like it made me mad because how can a teacher be trying to get at a student. Especially if he’s older, you know what I mean?" Ceres resident Isaac Mendoza said.
The 51-year-old has been charged with lewd and inappropriate communications with a minor.
Some parents are uneasy. A mother we spoke to asked us not to show her face.
“We think our kids are safe at school, and I guess they’re not,” she said.
Investigators with the Ceres Police Department are not releasing much information.
“We want to get the information out there, and if there’s more victims come forward, we don’t want to take chances of tainting their testimony if there are more out there,” Detective Sgt. Danny Vierra with the Ceres Police Department said.
Police did tell FOX40 the teenage victim came forward with the allegations on Tuesday. Bull was arrested a day later. Their conversation, according to police, was sexual in nature.
“He has no previous convictions. We’re looking to see if there’s previous allegations at this point,” Vierra said.
Investigators said the victim may have known Bull through the Ceres Dolphins. FOX40 asked the swim group for an on-camera interview. They declined but released this statement:
"To Ceres Dolphins Swimmers, Parents and Families, We, the Ceres Dolphins Swim Team Board, have become aware of an investigation involving our Head Coach, Tracy Bull. At this time we have suspended our Head Coach pending further notice, and completion of the investigation. As a Board our first and foremost responsibility is to our 170+ swimmers and their families. This is a disappointing blow to our team, our swimmers, our parents and our Board. We will be running our swim team as usual, but ask for your patience while we work to find a replacement and continue to keep our swimmers swimming. We are unable to comment on the specifics and reason for the suspension due to this being a pending investigation. If you have any questions we ask that you please contact our Ceres Dolphins League Representative, Tricia Staley, who will seek to answer your questions, after getting a response from our Board. We thank you for your understanding and patience in this matter. Sincerely, Ceres Dolphins Swim Team Board."
Bull was also a boys water polo and basketball coach for the Ceres Unified School District. The assistant superintendent told FOX40 on Thursday that Bull no longer works for them.
The detective added that at this point what the coach is facing is a misdemeanor violation. We also tried to contact the coach, but he did not answer our phones calls.