Dion Robinson, Youth Football Coach, Slaps Referee During Game (UPDATED)
Dion Robinson, a 43-year-old assistant coach for a West Park youth football team, didn't like that a referee called an unsportsmanlike penalty on his team.
So, in a perfectly reasonable response, he ran across the field and slapped the referee so hard, it knocked him down.
"I was shocked!" referee Andrew Keigans told NBC 6 a day after the incident. "I was like holy shit."
Holy shit, indeed.
Aside from going out of his way to open-palm-slap referees at youth football games, Robinson has an extensive criminal record that includes aggravated assault and assault with a firearm. Oh, and he has multiple arrests for cocaine distribution.
The incident happened during a game Saturday night between the Miramar Patriots and the West Park Saints at McTyre Park.
West Park coaches didn't like an unsportsmanlike call made by the officials and began to complain. One of the assistant coaches left the sideline to berate the refs, which is a no-no in youth football leagues. Keigans, who was the game's head ref, claims a Saints coach also made a derogatory comment from the sidelines. So he decided to call the game, awarding the win to Miramar.
And that's when the proverbial crap hit the proverbial fan.
As Keigans and the other refs made their way off the field, West Park coaches followed them, complaining about the call. That's when Robinson came from the opposite side and cold-cocked Keigans in the ear, dropping him to the ground.
Robinson was held back by another man while parents looked on in horror.
"The question is why was he allowed to have contact with kids," Sheriff Al Lamberti said of Robinson.
West Park Mayor Eric H. Jones says he plans to speak to the city administrator to see whether background checks are being conducted for coaches in the city.
"He was coaching the West Park Saints," Lamberti added. "But he was far from a saint."
Robinson was arrested on an assault charge on Monday.
The slap happens around the :30 second mark
UPDATE: West Park has temporarily suspended all youth sports, and city officials say they are conducting an internal investigation to see how Robinson was allowed to work with children despite his lengthy criminal history.