Police: Parent Assaults Ref at 7th Grade Church Game

Who hasn't seen a fan get angry with a referee or umpire? Referee Carlos Bradford has seen it plenty, but it never required a call to police until earlier this month.

"The guy walked up to me and said, 'You suck!'" said Bradford, who has been a referee for 15 years. He's still nursing a sore wrist and knee after a confrontation with a parent on Super Bowl Sunday.

"It gets intense. Parents take it seriously but they take it too seriously."

Right after a 7th grade boys game that day, a parent got in the face of the referee.

"He reaches up and grabs my glasses," said Carlos Bradford, "And I see his hand close around them and the pieces flying off. Next thing you know -- I started defending myself."

The parent, witnesses say, was rooting for Bellevue St. Mary's 8th Graders in the first game that afternoon.

"That is what's ironic about the whole thing -- this guy never said anything to me during the entire ballgame," said Bradford. "Not one single word."

St. Columbkille officials says some of its coaches helped pull the parent off of the referee after the altercation.

Omaha police arrived at the gym to take a report and are
expected to ticket the fan for misdemeanor assault.

Remember -- this was a game between two church teams. So why was the guy so upset?

Carlos: "I don't even now the guy's name."
Reporter: "Did he didn't mention a bad call or anything?"
Carlos: "No. He just walked up to me and said, 'You suck!'"

Carlos Bradford figures the parent just made a bad decision and is probably embarrassed by it. Still, he doesn't understand why moms and dads cannot enjoy the games and be good sports -- especially for their middle-school students-athletes.

Nearly two weeks later, Carlos Bradford still wears his glasses, held together by tape. The replacement frames have not yet arrived.

The incident isn't stopping him from getting back on the court as a ref. He's back in stripes on Sunday.

Coaches and parents have meetings about the expectations and behavior at the beginning of the season, according to Deacon Timothy McNeil with the Omaha Archdiocese. "If one of our parents does something like this, it's inexcusable. It should never happen."


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