Police arrest 2 referees at high school game The refs were each charged with one count of Public Intimidation for trying to throw cops out of the game
COVINGTON, La. — Two referees arrested during last night’s St. Paul’s vs. Mandeville game in Covington have now bonded out of the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
55-year-old Christopher Gambino of River Ridge and 54-year-old James Radcliffe of Metairie are both charged with one count of Public Intimidation for their involvement in an argument with Covington Police Officers during the third quarter of the game.
Both Radcliffe and Gambino are free today, after posting $5,000 signature bonds late last night.
According to police and witnesses, the incident began when the Chain Crew, the volunteers holding the yard markers at the game, got into an escalating verbal confrontation with spectators on the sideline. The Chain Crew was made up of St. Paul’s supporters, the spectators were Mandeville supporters. According to witnesses, the Chain Crew asked the referees to move the spectators. The spectators said they were not in a restricted area and had permission to stand where they were standing.
When the referee began arguing with the spectators, Covington Police stepped in. According to witnesses, police officers told game officials they would control the crowd, and game officials should return to the game. A second game official then entered the now escalating argument with Covington Police.
According to Covington Police, the lead official then tried to throw an officer out of the game. Shortly afterwards, the two officials were taken away in a Covington Police squad car and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail.
Public Intimidation is generally a charge given in an incident where the offending party threatens to have a person fired over an incident, although exactly what was said between game officials and Covington Police is not immediately known.
The incident delayed play for roughly 25 minutes during the third quarter.
Stay with Eyewitness News and wwltv.com for continuing updates on this developing story.
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