A flag football coach from Castaic faces a battery charge following an altercation with a 17-year-old referee, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
The coach, Ahje Palmer, 34, allegedly attacked the younger man April 20 at West Creek Park, according to Sheriff’s Department officials.
They said Palmer was upset about a call and walked onto the field while the game was in progress.
He confronted the teenage referee in the middle of the field, yelling about a call, according to the statement. He then struck the referee once in the face knocking him to the ground.
“Our detectives’ bureau interviewed about 13 witnesses,” said Deputy John Jones of the Sheriff’s Department’s Parks Bureau.
“Some of the witnesses at first said that the referee pushed the coach, but we later found that not to be true,” Jones said. “He was putting his hands up, saying, “You cant come on the field.’
“(Palmer) basically slapped him and knocked (the referee) to the ground,” Jones said.
The game was for children ages 12- to 14-years-old at the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation West Creek Park at 24247 Village Circle in Valencia.
“With so many kids on the field, it was just a little bit much,” Jones said. “It’s something you don’t expect out of a coach, especially someone who’s coaching little kid.”
Palmer was arrested at 1:30 p.m. that afternoon, according to Sheriff’s Department records. The charges were filed at Los Angeles Superior Court in Newhall on Tuesday.
Because it was a charge against a sports official, it carries a slightly stiffer penalty, Jones said.
Parks Bureau Detective Bureau conducted a thorough investigation contacting numerous witnesses to the incident which resulted in today’s filing.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Departments Parks Bureau is dedicated to providing a safe and drug-free environment at all Los Angeles County Parks.
Palmer was released after posting a $20,000 bail.