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High school soccer player charged with punching referee | News

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High school soccer player charged with punching referee

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- A Chattahoochee High School student was charged with battery after punching a soccer referee over what he believed to be a bad call.

It happened Apr. 29 after Chattahoochee High's varsity boys soccer play-off game against Milton High School.

According to an incident report from the Fulton County Schools Police Department, Milton was ahead 1-0 with only 90 seconds left in the game. As Chattahoochee's team moved the ball toward the goal, a Milton player stole the ball, then fell to the ground. A game official, 32-year-old Christopher Heintzman, threw a penalty flag against a Chattahoochee player.

Milton won the game. Moments after it ended, several students told school resource officer Richard Grant they saw the Chattahoochee player attack Heintzman. Another referee confirmed the student "punched (Heintzman) in the face with a closed fist," according to the incident report.

Grant took the student, whose name was not released in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, to his office. The report said the student cried and told Grant, "That official's call sucked ... he (expletive)-up my career with that bad call."

While Chattahoochee High assistant principal Tim Corrigan monitored the student, Grant interviewed Heintzman. The referee said the student approached him and acted as though he wanted to shake hands, then "sucker-punched him on the right side of the face," according to the report. Grant said Heintzman's face appeared reddish and swollen.

The report said Heintzman planned to press charges against the student and did not want to see him again "unless it was before a judge." He told Grant he did not need medical treatment.

After being charged, the student was released to his parents.


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