A little league football assistant coach was arrested and faces an assault charge after he was caught on video punching a referee during a game in West Park over the weekend, authorities said Monday.
Dion Robinson faces a charge of assault on an elected official, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.
The incident happened Saturday evening during a game between the West Park Saints and Miramar Patriots at Mc Tyre Park at 3501 Southwest 56th Avenue, according to a Broward Sheriff's Office report.
According to the report, referee Andrew Keigans gave the Saints a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after one of the assistant coaches made a derogatory comment from the sidelines.
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After he threw the flag, Keigans turned around and bumped one of the players and moved the player to the side to talk to one of the other referees, the report said.
The assistant coach, who disagreed with the penalty, barged the field and confronted Keigans as he was held back by head coach Antonio Lane, according to the report said.
Because the assistant coach left the sidelines and entered the field of play to confront Keigans, the head referee decided to end the game, the report said.
At that point, the entire coaching staff and parents of the young players ran onto the field to confront Keigans. As Keigans started walking off the field, the Saints' assistant coach ran towards him and slapped him on the face with his left hand.
The slap sent Keigans to the ground and knocked his hat off. The entire incident was captured on a video posted to YouTube.
"Everything just went crazy, complete pandemonium," said Alex Chisholm, Patriots coach. "Yeah they called it a forfeit. The referee was like 'It's over. That's it.' So, as the gentleman is coming of the field, another guy comes around and hits the referee right in the mouth. It was just crazy. Kids are running. It was just a real unfortunate situation."
"We're adults. These children are looking up to us. A lot of these coaches are mentors and what happened on this video was shameful. It was embarrassing and in this instance, it was criminal," said sheriff's spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright.
Chisholm, who is also known as "Big Lip" on Power 96, said adults should remember the games are about the children.
"If you're a coach, you totally understand. You're out there. You're passionate about it. But you cannot just be violent toward another human being because it sends a terrible message," he said.