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Louisiana game officials arrested during high school matchup

Sports rivalries don't appear for the first time when players reach the professional level. Intense competition often begins before players become adults. If you've ever attended a Louisiana high school football game, you know how heated things can get on the field and in the stands.

A pair of high school game officials who worked for decades in football was taken into custody during a Friday night football game. The high school matchup between St. Paul and Mandeville was in the third quarter when a dispute over crowd control broke out between a sideline official and a police officer on security patrol.

Something went wrong after the officials asked the Covington officer to assist with getting some people on the sidelines to move. At some point, the discussion turned unpleasant. The official called for a referee's help. Soon after, the game officials were arrested for intimidating an officer in public.

Reports did not give a clear picture of how the encounter escalated. The story differs depending on the source. The head of the Louisiana High School Officials Association blasted the police officer for exceeding "authority," while he supported game officials for using "proper protocol." The high school official added the referee and sideline official were doing what they got paid to do.

The acting police chief in Covington claimed so many witnesses wanted to back the police officer that an arrest report would not be ready for several weeks. The unidentified security officer told his boss that the referee became "confrontational."

The arrested men spent the night in jail before they were released on bond.

Allegations, large or small, can have a negative effect upon the life of any defendant. Even before a verdict, criminal charges can influence relationships with family members, bosses, business associates and friends. Criminal defenders do everything they can to make sure the impact on a client is minimal.

Source: theadvocate.com, "Referees head objects to Covington police officer arresting game officals" Sara Pagones, Oct. 15, 2013

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