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Georgia referee attacked at youth basketball game claims he heard coach tell players ‘we’re going to get him’


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Georgia referee attacked at youth basketball game claims he heard coach tell players ‘we’re going to get him’


Before the second half ended, the referee alleges he heard one coach say, “Don’t worry about it. We’re going to get him after the game.” Freeman had a notion they were talking about him. A witness captured the altercation on video, a horn ends the game and the attack starts.

“You see them making a B-line for me,” Freeman said. “Now, I’m just looking at the coach. That’s my concentration. And as the coach walks up toward me, I say, ‘Coach, don’t walk up on me.’”

Not long after, he was around a group of people assaulting him. Freeman says the only thing on his mind at the time was “survival,” but he didn’t want to hurt a child. He said he tried to defend himself by blocking them for as long as he could before he “started swinging.”

“I kept thinking something’s going to happen. Either they’re going to stop or somebody is going to help me,” Freeman said. Then once the group left, blood was dripping from his ear and people around him were trying to tend to his inquires while emergency response people were on the way. Freeman says the game wasn’t a largely heated game. “It wasn’t a game where I foresaw this,” he said.

Freeman had never the players, coach or worked one of their games before. After going to the hospital, he got a few staples in his head and stitches on his ear.

Now Freeman has one question, “What made you that mad to then get together after the game to come at me like that? I still haven’t figured that out and that’s the part that kind of hurts me the most is – it’s still a game,” he said. A spokesperson with DeKalb County Police told 11Alive a 26-year-old has been charged with misdemeanor battery against a sports official in the case. Freeman says he doesn’t think those involved should be allowed to play in any more games.



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