LITHONIA, Ga. – Police are investigating after a basketball referee was attacked over the weekend inside a church athletic facility.
Video of the incident shows children and adults punching and kicking the ref.
Channel 2′s Audrey Washington went to the church in Lithonia on Monday to learn more about what happened, and the church’s pastor condemned the attack.
“The referee appears outnumbered from the very start,” said Paris Cherry, the youth basketball development coach.
Video of the fight is circulating on Facebook and other social media platforms showing the moment adults and kids attacked the referee.
It all happened at a basketball game inside the Stronghold Christian Church Athletic Facility in Lithonia.
Washington learned the referee suffered serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital.
Monday, the church’s pastor released a statement, saying in part:
“It is truly unfortunate about the turn of events that took place during the basketball game held at our facility this weekend. While we cannot control people, it is our hope and prayer that those who enter our facility will conduct themselves in the best manner. ”
Paris Cherry is a former professional basketball player and a current youth basketball player development coach.
He told Washington that he was disgusted by the video.
“I was appalled. It was a very scary video, ”Cherry said. “To see the adults, instigate and then the kids follow up, to the point where it was the kids who chased down the referee at the video of the video, it’s just disgusting. And it seems like there wasn’t any adult trying to break it up. “
Witnesses say the incident happened at an Amateur Athletic Union basketball game.
Washington spoke with an AAU representative on Monday. The representative said it was not a sanctioned AAU game and that the organization had nothing to do with the game or the violence that broke out on the court.
We are still working to get an update on the condition of the referee and learn whether any of the adults and kids involved will face charges.
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