Video showing a youth sports referee being tackled by an adult at a recent youth soccer game has been forwarded to a California district attorney to determine whether criminal charges will be pursued, according to the Roseville Police Department.
The incident happened during a game between two teams of 15-year-old boys at Festersen Park in Roseville, California, on Oct. 30, according to multiple sources.
NorCal Premier is the sanctioning organization that oversees competitive youth soccer games throughout Northern California.
According to an online report posted on its website, NorCal Premier said, "An altercation between a player and an (Assistant Referee) occurred. The player's father ran across the field and physically assaulted AR1."
The Roseville Police Department confirmed that officers responded shortly after the incident, but that there are conflicting versions of what led up to the incident captured on camera.
Regardless, a police spokesman stressed that when parents' behavior crosses the line at youth sporting events, it can lead to criminal charges.
"Watching the video, obviously, is gut-wrenching. You never want to see a parent intervene in a situation where the example being set on the field is to act with violence to solve a problem," said Rob Baquera, Roseville police spokesman.
While a decision on criminal charges is pending, NorCal Premier has already suspended the team's coach for "failing to control his team's spectators." It is also recommending the team be suspended from future games until June 30, 2022.
"It's really important for parents to recognize that the sporting authority on the field may be a teenager who may be working their first job and that tone and tenor is set by the parents on the sidelines, participating appropriately, using encouraging words, but participating in a respectful manner for all involved," said Baquera.
The 31-year-old referee involved in the incident is doing OK, according to his father.