Texas Football Players Could Face Charges for Hit on Official

assault, sports official, Illinois Criminal Defense LawyerA pair of San Antonio, Texas, high school football players have been suspended indefinitely following an incident in which they apparently attacked a game official during live play. Video shows the official, who was observing the play from behind most of the action, get hit hard and tackled by one of the players. The other player can be seen following the hit with a “spear”—direct contact with the crown of the helmet—while the official laid on the ground.

By all accounts, the hits appeared to be completely intentional and unrelated to the immediately occurring play on the field. There has much speculation as to the impetus behind the players’ actions, but nothing has yet been confirmed. Reports from the school district and the University Interscholastic League (UIL) indicate that investigations into the incident are ongoing, but that the players have been suspended both from the team and from school. The UIL, the state’s governing body for school sports, is expected to participate in a due process hearing in the near future. Local police are also investigating, and criminal charges related to the hits are possible.

Assault Against a Sports Official

While the state of Texas is left to deal with the aftermath of the brutal attack, it is important to realize how such a case could be handled here in Illinois. The first issue, usually, is determining if the action in question is within the spirit of the game, a determination that is not always easy when the actions are between players. When the act seems to be clearly intentional against an official, the situation gets a little less vague.

Under Illinois law, attacking a sports official or coach actively participating in athletic competition at any level is considered aggravated assault. This is true whether the game is currently ongoing and the attack occurs on the field, or the game has ended and the official is attacked on the field, or within the immediate vicinity. Aggravated assault of a sports official is a Class A misdemeanor, and may be accompanied by additional charges for battery or aggravated battery depending on the circumstances and resulting injuries.

If you have been charged with assault—whether sports-related or otherwise—you deserve quality representation from a lawyer who understands the law. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today. We will assess your case and help you find the course of action to achieve the best possible resolution. Call 312-270-0999 for a consultation today.

 

Sources:

http://espn.go.com/moresports/story/_/id/13601567/john-jay-high-school-players-suspended-face-charges-hitting-referee

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/09/08/watch-these-two-texas-h-s-football-players-attack-ref-while-his-back-was-turned/

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ambushed-texas-high-school-football-ref-speaks-article-1.2351721

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=20887500&SeqEnd=22225000

 

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