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Police Blotter

When Parents Attack: Sixth-Grade Basketball Tournament Edition

A youth basketball commissioner in Burnsville, Minnesota was assaulted Saturday during a basketball tournament at the local high school by an angry father and possibly another male over a disputed call during an overtime game between two sixth-grade teams.

The attacker, who at this point remains unnamed, began accusing the referees and coaches of being “cheaters” and threw a basketball at the commissioner, Jeff Shand, after play began before his son’s team was slow in making a substitution. When Shand threatened to call 911, he was punched.

[Police Sergeant Jef] Behnken said the dad hit the commissioner, but Shand said it was a teenager or man in his early 20s who “sucker-punched” him from behind. Shand said the dad had thrown a basketball at him.

Behnken said authorities are looking for another suspect, a 15-year-old boy.

The man was arrested on suspicion of fifth-degree assault and impeding a 911 call. He has yet to be charged. No other arrests have been made.

What a country.

Shand suffered a dislocated jaw, a concussion and dental damage as a result of the attack. Once the fracas began, another parent stepped in, was punched himself, but still managed to kick the attacker in the nuts and ultimately subdue the crazy bastard. The man has yet to be formally charged, but was arrested on suspicion of fifth-degree assault and impeding a 911 call.

“I headed him off before he could get to my referees,” said Shand, who still has headaches two days later. “You can usually get people aside and let them vent a bit. Then they usually realize, ‘What am I doing here?’ “

Strand, lamenting the fact that “the only people we can’t do background checks on are the parents,”  regrets that all the good he and others try to do in making a difference in young people’s lives have to be tarnished because of the actions of one overreacting asshole.

“We do a lot of good things for this community and the kids,” he added. “I really hate to see [the program] get a black eye.”

Or a busted jaw. Or a concussion. Or dental damage that might require surgery. Seriously, if despicable behavior like this does not stop – and there are no indications that it will – no parent will be allowed to attend sporting events involving their children. Either that or they will have to sit outside of some sort of Thunderdome-type enclosure so the kids and referees can feel safe.

Burnsville youth basketball commissioner attacked at end of OT game [Star Tribune]