Players, parents fight at Okla. basketball game

Posted at 11:56 AM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 12:50:18-05

DEWEY, Okla. — Charges may be filed after a fight involving players and parents broke out earlier this month at a fourth grade basketball game in Washington County, Oklahoma.

According to the Dewey (Okla.) Police Department, an independent youth league hosted a basketball game February 6 between Dewey and Skiatook. During the game, two boys began playing rough. Police say one boy eventually punched the other in the head, knocking him to the floor.

Sgt. Tim Stringer said surveillance footage then showed one of the coaches going onto the court as well as parents from the stands.

The security cameras showed a referee telling the coach to leave the court, and he held his hands out and agreed. A few seconds later, however, the stepfather of the boy that got hit ran at the coach and punched him in the throat.

The stepfather told police he felt threatened by the coach, but Stringer said neither the surveillance footage nor the dozens of witness statements he collected back up that claim.

"It's shocking to me," Stringer said, "that adults would let an elementary school age sporting event turn into a fight like this."

The two men's wives also got into it, police said. The coach's wife is accused of going after the man who punched him, while that man's wife reportedly grabbed her hair.

According to the police report, a witness told officers she "stood up and shouted to the people on the floor that their kids were watching them."

None of the families involved wanted to comment, citing embarrassment over what happened earlier this month.

Their names are not being released since no charges have been filed at this time. Police, however, sent affidavits to the Washington County district attorney, who will decide whether assault charges would be filed. In the meantime, Stinger said this should serve as a lesson for others.

"These sporting events are supposed to teach these children sportsmanship, and the parents are setting the example," he said. "If they expect their children to emulate what transpired on the floor of this gymnasium, then those children are learning the wrong lesson."

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