ROSEVILLE, Calif. (CBS13) — A parent attacked a referee by hitting him down to the ground during an under-16 boys soccer game in California. Video shows the violent act by the soccer dad running across the field and blindsiding a referee. The dad then stands over the ref, shouting at him.
Andrew Reali is the referee who got decked by the dad, who was more than twice his size. "It felt like I got hit by a train," Reali said. "This was easily the hardest hit I've ever taken in my life."
The attack stemmed from a call off camera against the father's son. Reali says the son disputed the call by following him off the field, and got into his face. He says he pushed the teen to back him away. "And that's when the parent from across the field came and assaulted me," Reali said. "It was pretty crazy. It happened so fast, I was definitely shaken up for 10, 15 minutes, after that my nerves calmed down."
Roseville police were called to the field on a report of battery. They forwarded their findings to the Placer County District Attorney's Office. "I think what we see in this video is incredibly shocking," Roseville police department spokesperson Rob Baquera said. "This action by a parent from the sidelines is clearly not something that is appropriate."
Reali wants the parent charged. "I want criminal charges," he said. "I want this guy to pay for what he's done."
The under-16 youth match was part of the NorCal Premier Soccer organization, which suspended the coach of the team the parent's child plays on for failing to control his team's spectators. A disciplinary committee is recommending the team be expelled from all competitions until June of next year.
Reali says the attack won't keep from taking the field again. "This is not going to stop me," Reali said "I want the younger referees to see this and say, you know what, if it happens to you, don't let it affect your life. You can't let these kinds of things affect you."
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