A captain with the Wichita Police Department (WPD) shoved a teenage girl while she was refereeing a youth basketball game over the weekend, the WPD has confirmed.
That captain, who is not presently being named, has been placed on administrative leave–with pay–according to WPD spokesperson Officer Charley Davidson.
During a phone interview, Officer Davidson noted that the department was not currently releasing further information and referred to the matter as a “personnel issue.”
The incident first came to light when Facebook user Craig Carlson posted video of the altercation onto his personal page. In a January 13 post, he wrote:
This happened today in Augusta Ks… this guy is a Wichita PD officer, who assaulted a 17yr old basketball official during a 5/6th grade game. This is exactly why there is a shortage of officials in sports. This is unacceptable and should be seen and shared.
In the video, the police captain can be seen approaching a young boy–apparently recently fouled–as the female referee quickly makes her way towards the police captain to intercept him.
As the police captain and the teenage referee get closer, the referee raises her whistle using her left hand, then the police captain visibly uses his right hand to forcibly shove her away–making contact with the girl’s left shoulder and pushing her a couple of paces back.
Garbled audio suggests the police captain shouts something to the effect of, “Don’t blow that in my face!” The crowd then audibly boos the man. Next, the police captain grabs the apparently-fouled boy by the arm and storms off with him, throwing his other hand into the air. Another referee, a teenage boy, attempts to interject but is left dumbfounded by the police captain’s continued shouting and hand-waving.
The female referee gets back in the police captain’s face and repeatedly shouts for him to “get out.” The police captain yells back at the teenagers, children, and parents sounding off against him, finally saying “Get out my way,” as he exits the court.
Meanwhile, the official investigation of the incident has wrapped up. Major Ray Marbut, with the Augusta Department of Public Safety, said:
We collected witness statements from the scene and obtained the video and that’s all been presented to the prosecutor. He’ll determine the findings.
[image via screengrab]