There have been multiple cases in past 12 months where adults have been arrested or questioned for attacking or verbally abusing high school and youth sports referees. In a unique turn of the table, two referees in Louisiana were arrested on Friday after they allegedly threatened a police officer who was stationed on the field.
As reported by WWLTV, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and the Associated Press, among other outlets, two referees who were working the St. Paul's School (Covington, La.) against Mandeville High (Mandeville, La.) football game were arrested on intimidation charges related to threats they allegedly made against a Covington police officer during the course of the game. The officer in question then reported the threat and shortly thereafter, both officials were escorted off the field by a group of three other police officers.
The delay occurred in the middle of the third quarter of what eventually became a 20-3 St. Paul's victory. The unexpected departure of the referees forced the game into a 20-minute delay, during which the Times-Picayune reported that the Covington police department spoke at length with both coaching staffs.
WWLTV reported the issue actually began as a disagreement between referees and members of the St. Paul's chain gang, which was responsible for down and distance marking in the game.
The referees reportedly engaged in a vocal disagreement with members of the chain gang, which then spilled over into an argument with a designated police officer about crowd control.
Few details about the precise nature of the incident that prompted the in-game arrests have come to light, awaiting further police announcements scheduled to come on Monday. Nonetheless, Covington police insisted that more than 10 people on the St. Paul's sideline witnessed the incidents in question.
Both referees have since been released on bail, and there is no current information on when they could be brought before the court again. In the meantime, fans both in attendance and from afar will anxiously await more information on what is a unique situation, at the very least.