A Florida man was arrested on Wednesday after he attacked a 63-year-old disabled veteran who served as an umpire in his son’s high school baseball game last month, police say.
Jorge Aponte-Gonzalez, 41, was arrested and charged with felony battery and disruption of a school function after the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said he punched umpire Ray Mora during a game at Liberty High School in Kissimmee, Fla., on April 18.
“One of the players started to verbally argue with the umpire, exchanging words. So the umpire is obviously going to maintain control of the game, because that’s what they are there to do – to make sure kids learn all about sportsmanlike conduct,” Sheriff Marco Lopez said during a press conference.
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Video of the altercation shows an unsuspecting Mora walking away from the field between innings as Aponte-Gonzalez approaches him from behind.
“As his back is turned … one of the high school students’ fathers that’s in the game, leaves the stands, walks directly toward the umpire and just knocks him out. Just knocks him out right there on the ground,” Lopez said.
“The kid was being disruptive, so the umpire’s like, ‘Hey, tone it down,’ maintaining control,” Lopez said. “They went back and forth a little bit. I don’t know exactly what was exchanged, but … that is what upset the father.”
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Aponte-Gonzalez told law enforcement he was “defending my kid,” but Lopez said during the press conference that he showed no remorse.
“This umpire is a 63-year-old man,” Lopez said. “He’s a veteran. A United States military veteran. He does this because he has passion for baseball, and he likes to give back to his community. He loves to dedicate his time to baseball and kids.”
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Aponte-Gonzalez was not in police custody as of Friday, according to online jail records.
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