A father in Florida socked a 63-year-old umpire at his son’s high school baseball game and was promptly arrested.
Jorge Ignacio Aponte-Gonzalez, 41, struck an umpire over an argument during his son’s baseball game at Liberty High School in Kissimmee.
On Wednesday, Osceola County Sheriff Marco Lopez said Aponte-Gonzalez’s son was being disruptive and was chastised by the umpire, which led to the confrontation.
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“The umpire is obviously going to maintain control of the game… Because that is what they are there to do. To make sure kids learn all about sportsmanlike conduct… The kid was being disruptive, so the umpire’s like, ‘Hey, tone it down,’ maintaining control, They went back and forth a little bit. I don’t know exactly what was exchanged, but… that is what upset the father.”
After the confrontation, the umpire walked over to a gate near the Kissimmee field to wait for a colleague to relieve him for a few innings, as is routine.
“This umpire is a 63-year-old man,” Lopez said. “He’s a veteran. A United States military veteran. He does this because he has passion for baseball, and he likes to give back to his community. He loves to dedicate his time to baseball and kids.”
Aponte-Gonzalez told arresting officers that he was “defending my kid” after his arrest and showed no remorse for his actions.
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Sheriff Lopez said he talked to the victim, who said he wants his assailant prosecuted so that other youth referees and umpires don’t face similar violence.
“There should be no parent acting like this public,” Lopez said, calling Aponte-Gonzalez a “coward” who had routinely disrupted other games from the stands.
The umpire’s name has not been released, but he’s reportedly 63. The father is facing battery charges and booked into Osceola County jail on $1,500 bond.
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