Caught on camera: Dad tackles referee during teen son’s soccer game

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 2:10 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 23, 2021 at 2:13 AM CST
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ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KOVR) - A soccer dad in California attacked a referee, running into him and slamming him to the ground, in a shocking moment caught on camera.

Video shows the soccer dad, identified by the Placer County District Attorney’s Office as 34-year-old Vicente Robles, running across the field and blindsiding referee Andrew Reali, knocking him to the ground. Robles then stands over Reali, shouting at him.

“It felt like I got hit by a train,” Reali said. “This was easily the hardest hit I’ve ever taken in my life. It was pretty crazy. It happened so fast.”

The incident happened Nov. 17 during an under-16 boys soccer game in Roseville, California.

Reali says Robles’ son disputed a call against him and followed the referee off the field. The teenager got in his face, the referee says, and he pushed him to get him to back away.

“And that’s when the parent from across the field came and assaulted me,” Reali said.

Police investigated the incident and sent their findings to the district attorney’s office.

“I think what we see in this video is incredibly shocking. This action by a parent from the sidelines is clearly not something that is appropriate,” said Rob Baquera, a spokesperson for Roseville Police.

Robles was charged Monday with a misdemeanor count of battery committed against a sports official. His arraignment date is set for Dec. 8.

The youth match was part of the NorCal Premier Soccer organization, which suspended Robles’ son’s coach for failing to control his team’s spectators. A disciplinary committee recommends the team be expelled from all competitions until June of next year.

Reali is doing OK now and says the attack won’t stop him taking the field again.

“This is not going to stop me. I want the younger referees to see this and say, ‘You know what, if it happens to you, don’t let it affect your life.’ You can’t let these kind of things affect you,” he said.

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