BOSTON (CBS) – UMass Lowell Police are investigating an assault on a referee who was officiating at a 7th grade basketball tournament on Tuesday.

The game was being played at the UMass Lowell Recreation Center between Lowell Junior High and Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Angry words about the ref’s foul calls led to one spectator tailing him into the lobby of the recreation center.

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports

UMass Lowell Police Chief Scott Childs says the spectator punched the referee, knocking him to the ground, before fleeing the area. The referee, Mike Harrington, was not seriously hurt.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

Police feel pretty certain some witnesses aren’t cooperating.

The tournament’s director told WBZ he didn’t want to talk about the incident until he got a briefing from police.

Comments (6)
  1. James Spruce says:

    Parents of Lowell basketball are cowards – stand up and show what sportsmanship is about – you’re an embarrassment to scholastic athletics.

    Shame on the tournament director for “not commenting” – you hold your tournament higher than an assault on a neutral participant? Karma brother….it has an ironic way of responding.

  2. Tom Dolan says:

    What a fine example the Lowellp parents set for their seventh-grade young men! What character development these young men mus ttake away from their youth basketball program! Surely none of them will get in trouble with the law or have anger management problems. If the police identify this father, then
    he may have reason to deeply regret getting caught, even if he doesn’t regret his actions otherwise. Perhaps he can commiserate with Chuck Turner and Salvatore F. DIMasi on the unfairness of life, if they all have a lot of time on their hands as guests of the state.

  3. Tom Dolan says:

    Let me get this straight. Kindergarten student sare expected to ‘keep their hands to themselves,’ but the PARENTS of seventh graders have trouble with the concept! In life difficult things happen. A bad call or two in a seventh grade
    game (if it was even wrong) shouldn’t be on anyone’s list of the top ten problems in his life.

  4. Tom Dolan says:

    Considering the modest pay involved and the travel involved, if referees are not protected against violence by parents, we may find it impossible to have
    referees at all. Perhaps, if the Lowell parents will not identify the culprit, then the simplest action is to expell the team from the league, or simply ban parents
    from the rink. These actions may seem draconian, but to me they seem much less intolerable than repeated attacks on referees or other innocent parties.

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