Posted October 23, 2013

High school football referees arrested during game

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High school football game officials Chris Gambino and Jim Radcliffe were arrested. (St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office)

High school football officials Chris Gambino and Jim Radcliffe were arrested. (St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office)

A Louisiana high school football game was delayed Friday night when two game officials were arrested after a confrontation with police. The police report alleges the referee attempted to throw an officer out of the stadium.

Head referee Jim Radcliffe and linesman Chris Gambino were arrested by a Covington police officer for public intimidation during the third quarter of Mandeville’s game at St. Paul’s.

St. Paul’s athletic director Craig Ketelsen said Saturday that Gambino was repeatedly attempting to move Mandeville fans away from the field’s sideline and interfering with the chain crew, but the Covington police officer on the sideline told him to pay attention to the game. Ketelsen said the situation intensified from there, with the officer arresting Gambino and Radcliffe.

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Here’s a short video that includes the officials being escorted off the field by police:

From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

With almost seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, action on the field was halted as Radcliffe went to the sideline to help Gambino, and words were exchanged with the police officer. Within a minute, both officials had been arrested, charged with public intimidation, escorted off the field and later booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.

“It is my understanding the issue that precipitated the whole thing was that the linesman and the chain crew were working together to try and remain separate from some of the Mandeville fans that had come forward,” Ketelsen said.

Capt. Jack West of the Covington Police Department said Saturday his officer’s report on the incident that led to the arrests was corroborated by 10 witnesses standing on the sideline.

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WWL-TV reports the referee tried to toss the police officer out of the game:

“Well, a referee asked a police officer to move some people back.  The police officer moved them back.  Another referee came up to the police officer and told him, ‘that’s not far enough.’  The police officer explained….would you please handle the game, referee the game, and we will handle the crowd for you. The second referee told the police officer, nose-to-nose with the police officer, ‘you’re out of the game…get outta here.’  And the police officer said, ‘excuse me sir, just referee the game, and we’ll handle the crowd.’  And he says ‘no, get out.  Get out now.’

Play was delayed for more than 20 minutes as the remaining officials and both schools discussed continuing the game. A reduced crew of officials finished the game won St. Paul’s, 20-3.

The officials will continue to work games this season. Bryan Greenwood, the head of the Louisiana High School Officials Association, said the pair are “very well respected.”

“They absolutely will continue to work with us,” Greenwood said. “They have done nothing wrong, and it is not going to affect them with our organization in any way.”

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79 comments
Greg5269
Greg5269

Notice that this report doesn't tell you that the arresting officer's son plays for Mandeville AND the 10 'witness' are personal friends of the same arresting officer and were the ones being asked to move... Gotta love selective journalism!

maury395
maury395

Amazing how egos can do that.. Incredible. Two of the most power hungry professions, cops and refs are cut from the same cloth. Insecure little men trying to make for lost times in order to exert power they haven't had before and will never have.

T36
T36

stoopid  fucc  cop 

dondonb90
dondonb90

Police over stepped their boundaries once again. I can't believe they can get away with this crap. 

ArrowSmith
ArrowSmith

City of Covington to make a law where the police can not be on the sidelines. GOOD. That fat cop was taking up to much space. 

ArrowSmith
ArrowSmith

That is one overweight fat cop. Where I work at we have extreme standards that require all of our officers be within standards. I doubt the Covington Police have anything like that. That cop will die before he is 40 from all the crap and donuts he eats. BTW there will be no charges filed against the two refs. 

ArrowSmith
ArrowSmith

The Police should not be on the sidelines as they are not part of the playing field. The police are idiots to arrest the two refs to begin will. Those two officers have no business on the sidelines and are considered from this day forward IDIOTS and MORONS. Pick one. 

Rutylou
Rutylou

The refs are responsible for maintaining an orderly flow of the game, within the rules. If fans were too close to the sidelines in the refs judgement, they were entirely within their rights to halt play until the sideline was in order. Absent any actual rule violation, the cops were out of line.

sjaudey
sjaudey

this is abuse of power if I've ever seen it.  The police officer couldn't handle anyone challenging his authority.


What a POS, he could have handled the situation way better, that is not an arrestable offense.

jeffhail
jeffhail

WOW I thought Indiana Sports were serious!

KeithStone
KeithStone

The article forgets to mention that the cop's son played for the home team. The cop's buddies are the fans encroaching on the sidelines. What went on here was a clear conflict of interest. Cop will now cost city huge law suit because he couldn't follow clear instructions on the side of safety. Most cops are pretty cool. There's just the dumb ones that ruin it for the rest of em.

darrensparky68
darrensparky68

I suppose these 10 Witnesses were the same 10 people who wouldn't move back away from the sideline. Standing to close to the sideline not only slows down the chain gang but also puts those people at risk of injury from a player going out of bounds. Lock up the cops. take away their badges. they are emotionally inept to be enforcing laws.

hawkny
hawkny

@obsmaisdone

Excuse me but are your trying to say that Obama supporters do not support the police in their local communities?  If you are you are as ill informed as the nutzos who were in charge of this high school football game referenced above. BTW, Mr. Obama is gonna be around as commander-in-chief until 2016, whether you like it or not... Then he is going to be following for 8 more years by Hillary Clinton....how great is that!  :)

obamaisdone
obamaisdone

I see we have a lot of losers on here talking crap about law enforcement. You people that are running your mouths are more than likely drug abusers Obama supporters and career college students that does not contribute to our society you are takers. If you want to form a mob and attack law enforcement officers you will lose even if you were able to start to win there is more civilians that would stand with their local police departments than there is of you so stop with the loser mentality go get a job and get off what ever drug you abusing and become a useful human being. 

AlanGrissom
AlanGrissom

People, want to get sick go to youtube and type police brutality. Or even better TSA.

AlanGrissom
AlanGrissom

If every time some cop over steps his authority, his boss should be on the carpet to. When I was a Navy dependent and stepped out of line my Dads commander was notified and I don't have to tell you the out come, but I never did that again

AlanGrissom
AlanGrissom

If after reading the comments about the cops, why don't we all get together as a group and deal with them. Until people stand with a crowd it will never stop.

ChrisJDecker
ChrisJDecker

Attorneys are notorious for saying, "I said that you didn't tell the truth, I never called you a liar."  Police officers aren't far behind.  So, with the referees in charge and the police in charge, it's obvious someone's not telling the truth.

scp1957
scp1957

More and more cops coming up who've never been good at TAKING orders from anybody. Bums like this guy would be discharged from military service as being unfit emotionally, more likely than not. Those who cannot take orders should never be permitted to give them.

Dave127
Dave127

As a former high school football official I know the rules. The referee has total control of the stadium area during a game. This includes the right to eject ANY person from the stadium area if, in his opinion, they are interfering with the proper conduct of the game. That includes fans, coaches or anyone else. The cop should have left the stadium area and simply requested a replacement officer.  

MattHaynes
MattHaynes

"Capt. Jack West of the Covington Police Department said Saturday his officer’s report on the incident that led to the arrests was corroborated by 10 witnesses standing on the sideline."

Bet it's the same "10 witnesses" who were told to move and didn't.....

bulletrico
bulletrico

That's BS... We all know how the police work. They think they are in charge of everything. And they do not speak nicely to people so I am sure the conversation was not nice. I believe they talked down to the officials which sparked the whole mess. LA cops are the worst in the world!!!! And very disrespectful!!! The officials were in charge of the game not the freaking cops!!! These cops are thugs and cowards at best!!!!

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

"Public intimidation"...!  Is this America, or the USSR?

A ref telling a cop to move people on the sideline...the NERVE!  And the cop refusing to leave a game because he's...well, special.  He doesn't have to do what the referees tell him.  He's LAW ENFORCEMENT.  He's above the rules!

Two more out-of-control bully-cops overstepping their lawful bounds.  The head thug saying, right off the bat, that there were "10 witnesses" sounds defensive.  I smell lawsuit.


btcvsolo
btcvsolo

Good ol' Lousyana....

If the world was given an enema, that's where the nozzle would go...


portion
portion

Well, geez whiz...who won the game?

BryanCustard
BryanCustard

Fire the cop and let him pay the restitution for the ensuing lawsuit. 

x72
x72

Kick this loser cop off the force

thereferee
thereferee

I know these these officials personnally, and they did their job with nothing wrong. After several attemps to get officer to move crowd behind buffer line, the linesman stopped the game and asked for referee to come over. When the referee comes to the sidelines, the cop says, " WHAT,  YOU TOO NOW ". The referee told the cop that he will not restart the game until the crowd is moved back. The cop tells him, that if he didn't restart the game, he was going to jail. The referee says, he is not restarting the game until they are back, and as for going to jail, we will see about this. The referee starts to go over to the home teams coach and AD, when the cop desides to lundge at him "which was testified by a photographer" and grab his arms and says "YOU ARE UNDER ARREST". Then he read him his rights. The cop made sure the referee couldn't go get the AD. These are detailed officers and can be dismissed from duty by the AD, who pays them upon the referees request, inwhich in this case was probably going to happen to this officer for letting an unsafe environment for the players happen. If a player would have broken a leg after running into a fan, the referee is held liable and can be sued. Thats why there is a pact between officers and officials that the referees are incharge of everything inside the fence of a stadium, 30 minutes before kickoff , till the officials have left the field after the game has ended. It has been this way for decades, and this cop has worked many football games.  When the assignment secretary went to bail the official out of jail, he was told that the referee was not booked yet. He was also told that the ref was transported to another jail, that they did not know where. The ref finally got bailed out the next morning. Capt. Jack West told the media that they will release a statement on Monday. Today is Thursday, and still no excuses and lies, I'm sorry, I mean statement.

FaatherCzasu
FaatherCzasu

The police will be sued (rightfully) for false arrest and the LA taxpayers will have to fork over several million for both the lawyers fees and the tort damages.

How pathetic is that?!

SLB
SLB

As an official for multiple sports in GA, this falls directly on the school.  Before any contest, we ask the head coach to identify a school admin. (usually a principle/asst. principle/AD), who we as officials can go to with any issues during the contest that need to be addressed.  That makes the school directly responsible for the any issue that comes up that affects the game.  If there is any truth to what SkipperSam says, then this falls directly on the host school, which will then roll down to local law enforcement, who will share the blame.  On the other hand, we as officials should never address fans or personnel working games directly.  We should always go through the identified admin. or head coach and make them responsible for fans, other personnel working the games, etc.  This officer, since he had a son playing, should never have been working this game or any other games for this school this season.  In fact, he should never work any game he has a conflict of interest with. 

tfaw
tfaw

Ego's out of control on all sides.  

KennethNewman
KennethNewman

Indeed, the referee controls the stadium. The game should have been stopped, and the policemen asked to control the crowd or the game would have been suspended. 

  The real question here is what kind of crowd control plan was in place in the first place????After reading some of the information regarding the game, its obvious that these so-called police weren't doing any work, instead, they were  just watching the game. 

Wait for the LHSAA to rule on this incident. I think a lot of  people will lose their jobs.

Bridgette Andrews
Bridgette Andrews

@hawkny Yes, single party rule is good for the country, as all good communists know.  

You're a good little Commie.


bobinpowell
bobinpowell

@obamaisdone Well, you are more than likely mentally ill so your own contributions to society probably don't amount to much, either.

Jed1
Jed1

@obamaisdone Actually, Obama is not done. He'll be your President until his term runs out.

CoryDowns
CoryDowns

@Dave127 the ref does NOT have total control of the stadium. He has the authority to eject if he fears for player safety or his own, but not to eject fans for saying things he may not like.

scp1957
scp1957

@btcvsolo At least folks down in the real La. don't go around beating or stabbing to death Alabama fans. One cannot say as much for the people of fake L.A., can one?

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@thereferee  

"If he didn't restart the game, he was going to jail."  Abuse of power and thuggery at its finest.

JonChown
JonChown

@SLB In fact, the cop should be fired immediately. Since we know he is happy to abuse his power in this way — in such a public way — it's a good bet he's done far worse when people weren't looking. After he is fired, he should then be arrested for civil rights violations. 


Sulkaman
Sulkaman

@tfaw This is the correct observation.  The refs weren't innocent in this.  You don't tell a cop you're out of here.  And as a cop, you don't arrest a ref during a football game unless he puts his hands on you.  This is ridiculous all the way around.

Outside the box
Outside the box

@KennethNewman Yeah, right. And if someone in the crowd starts shooting at players, the referees will take care of it, right? AFter all, they "control the stadium". Football game or not, the police have jurisdiction over anything that takes place in their town. Sorry, you are way off.

anarchist
anarchist

You really are some special kind of stupid, aren't you?

Rutylou
Rutylou

No..the issue was the proximity of unauthorized people on the sidelines. They potentially present danger to players, other authorized sideline personnel, and themselves.

scp1957
scp1957

@MidwestGolfFan @thereferee Misdemeanor abuse of process and felony false imprisonment and kidnapping under cover of authority. It's past time that some cops got sent down "among the Sodomites".

bulletrico
bulletrico

@Outside the box @KennethNewman  This is for you Outside the box... Shut the hell up you f ing moron. You are an idiot the way your mind works!!! Try stepping outside you sheltered box sometime!!!