A high school basketball coach in New Jersey was violently attacked in front of his own school in a disturbing incident caught on video ... and now, cops say it was his own players who delivered the beating.
Police say at around 9 PM ET Tuesday, they responded to a call at Malcolm X Shabazz H.S. in Newark, N.J. regarding an assault of a school employee. Multiple reports identify the victim as a coach on the basketball team.
You can see in video of the alleged incident ... the victim was kicked and punched REPEATEDLY by at least four people.
Cops say after they saw the footage ... they identified the attackers as members of the school's basketball team -- but wouldn't release the names of the suspects because they're all minors.
Police say the teens jumped the man after they got off the team bus upon returning from a road game ... but they say the victim declined medical attention when they arrived.
Now, cops say a criminal investigation is underway.
"Our detectives are investigating this incident to identify and to appropriately charge those individuals involved," Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose says ...
"Those found to have participated in this senseless act of violence will face criminal charges."
The Newark mayor, Ras J. Baraka, also promised punishment for the individuals involved in the attack, saying, "The actions of these students will not be tolerated."