An American dad has been charged with assault after allegedly shoving an elderly referee to the floor at his son’s basketball game, breaking his nose in the process.
The New York Post reports that former college basketball player Mark McLaughlin, 31, ran onto the court after disagreeing with a referees treatment of his son in a school basketball game in Washington on December 16 2021.
Witnesses who courtside attested that McLaughlin’s son had fouled an opposition player which led to a brief confrontation on the court between the two teams.
While a different referee calmed down the situation, they unintentionally knocked McLaughlin’s son to the floor before helping him up.
At this point, McLaughlin rushed the court and reportedly yelled “No one touches my son!” before 'shoving the ref from behind'.
The 72-year-old man hit the court face first and broke his nose and cheekbone.
He would go on to bleed for 90 minutes and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Following the altercation, McLaughlin and his son left before the police arrived.
McLaughlin, who is described is 6’6” and 215 pounds, handed himself into police the next day.
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According to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, he pleaded not guilty to the second-degree assault charge on January 3.
In charging papers obtained by the Seattle Times, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Brynn Jacobson wrote: “The defendant is 6’6 and 215 lbs and was likely able to generate a significant amount of force
“The defendant is clearly unable to keep his temper under control, even in a room full of children and parents at a school basketball game.”
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