Football

Youth football coach arrested after allegedly punching referee

handcuffs-photo-blake-david-taylor-getty-imagesA Beech Grove youth football coach was arrested for allegedly punching a referee in the face during a game on Saturday evening.

Officers from the Beech Grove Police Department responded to calls of a fight around 5:14 p.m. in the 1200 block of Main Street, according to court documents. When they arrived, they spoke with the coach, James Gann, the referee and witnesses.

Gann, 37, told police he was coaching the game when his son was hurt during a play. He went onto the field to check on him, at which point the referee stepped between him and his son. Gann told police the referee then told him to watch his mouth or he would be thrown out of the game.

Gann told the referee: “This is not about football, this is about my son.” He was thrown out of the game.

Witnesses then say Gann “sucker punched” the referee several times.

When interviewed by police, the referee said Gann had been warned several times to be quiet while players were at the line of scrimmage. During the confrontation on the field, the referee said he was hit three to four times on the right side of the face and in the back of the head.

Gann then stood over him and taunted him, the referee said.

Gann was arrested on preliminary charges of battery with injury.

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