Battery, the Characteristic Crime of Polo People

Not this again:

John Wash, president of club operations at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington, was arrested shortly before midnight Wednesday and charged with battery, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office records.

The 51-year-old Wellington resident was taken to jail and released Thursday on his own recognizance.

According to the sheriff’s office report, a woman said he had thrown wine in her face.

I say “again” because of this incident, from my post Blast From the Past: A Punch in the Face for Capitalism (Sarbanes-Oxley):

Long ago, I attended a prep school in South Florida. Our Junior English class was in the corner of the building, with nice windows giving a view of the wraparound sidewalk and whoever strolled it. One day, we were listening to our teacher go on about something (he’s since gone on to his reward as a Provost of a small college on the West Coast) when we noticed the Assistant Headmaster and one of our fellow students at a standoff on the sidewalk.

It just wasn’t any student: it was a scion of the Oxley family, the clan who started out with a fortune made in oil and ended up as the leading family of polo (complete with Ralph Kramden’s poloponies) in South Florida. (They only recently sold the polo practice field near the school for a development.) My experience with the Assistant Headmaster was that he wasn’t one to take a lot of guff from a student, and Oxley, having shown up to school an hour or two late, wasn’t getting very far. So Oxley, in public school fashion, took a swing at the Assistant Headmaster.

We suddenly realised we literally had ringside seats to the fight. But our cheering Oxley on was to no avail: that was Oxley’s last day at our school, and things settled down after that until someone else was caught with pot, or worse.

Must be in the mallets…

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