A coach charged with battery against a teenage official pleaded no contest in a Newhall court and was sentenced Thursday, a Newhall court official said.
Ahje Palmer, 34, of Castaic, was sentenced to 10 days in county jail, 20 days of CalTrans work, a $500 fine, and a 52-week anger management course. He was also given a two-year ban from coaching.
Palmer pleaded no contest, which is viewed the same as a guilty plea in the eyes of the court without admitting civil liability, to one count of 243.8(a) of the California penal code.
The charge is described as “when a battery is committed against a sports official immediately prior to, during or immediately following an interscholastic, intercollegiate or any other organized amateur or professional athletic contest in which the sports official is participating, and the person who commits the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is engaged in the performance of his or her duties,” according to the state law.
Palmer was coaching in a flag football game at West Creek Park on April 20 when he attacked a 17-year-old official, according to Sheriff’s Department officials.
Parks Bureau Detective Bureau conducted a thorough investigation contacting numerous witnesses to the incident which resulted in the charge, according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.
“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 can’t 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.
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, where Palmer made his plea deal.