LAKELAND — It’s well known that parents can get quite heated and angry when it comes to their kids’ participation in sporting events, to the point where parents can seem more emotional and competitive about these youth games than the little ones.
A good example of that happened recently in Lakeland, when a man got arrested and was charged with punching his Little League umpire in the face.
It happened on Friday, Nov. 15 at the Highland City Ball Park in Lakeland. Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about an incident there, and ended up arresting Alberto Escartin Ramos, 22, of 2850 New Tampa Highway #111, Lakeland. Ramos was charged with one count of felony battery of a sports official after deputies say he punched the head little league umpire in the face.
What Led To This Confrontation in Lakeland?
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd condemned the alleged assault, and reminded parents that little league games are supposed to be about fun above all else.
“This is completely inexcusable – assaulting a little league official while he’s officiating at a game where children are supposed to be having fun, and learning sportsmanlike behavior,” Judd said.
Ramos bonded out of the Polk County Jail after he posted $1,000 bond, but Judd noted, “Not only was he arrested, he’s also been trespassed from the ballpark.”
According to the affidavit, Ramos “disagreed with a call an umpire made, so after the game he went to the clubhouse to complain to the victim, who is the head umpire,” noted Carrie Horstman, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, in her report on the arrest.
She added that “Ramos began screaming at the victim, and the victim asked Ramos to leave the ballpark. Ramos responded by screaming he would ‘kick his ass,’ and then punched the victim in the face, cutting the victim’s lip and breaking one of his teeth.”
The umpire was treated by Polk County Fire Rescue at the scene.
Parents Behaving Badly
Fighting among adults is known to be common at little league games. Last June, a huge fight broke out at a children’s baseball game in Lakewood, Colorado, and ended up with parents throwing punches at one another.
Local police even released a video of the parents brawling on the field. The parents took over the field — where the players were just seven years-old — after a call made by a 13-year-old umpire.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book When I Woke Up, You Were All Dead. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.