OKLAHOMA CITY - The Hive Gym in north Oklahoma City is a place where kids and adults alike go to learn teamwork, fair play and the game of basketball.
But, the lesson they learned Saturday night was anything but sportsmanlike.
“Everybody's been to a game where anger and tempers flare," said Oklahoma City police spokesperson Megan Morgan. "It ignites when kids play. I don't know why."
In this case, witnesses said assistance coach George Edwards the Third was cussing at the referee. It escalated quickly.
Because of the police investigation, the Hive is not releasing the security video but did show it to News 4. It clearly shows the coach being warned to sit down. After two technical fouls, Edwards gets up and hits the referee with a clipboard.
“The coach got the first whack in, and the ref got one in but the coach wanted more," said Hive director David Musselman. "Peace was resolved in 30 seconds, but it’s one of those things you can't unsee it. The kids can't unsee it."
According to the police report, a parent who tried to intervene was also punched inadvertently.
“A parent approached and tried to break up a potential fight and, in trying to strike the coach, the referee did strike one of the parents, the parent trying to break up the fight," Morgan said.
We tried to contact all parties involved, but our calls were not immediately returned.
Staff quickly swarmed and broke up the fight.
Referee Travis Williams was cited for assault and battery.
Edwards was arrested and faces charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon upon a referee. His coaching privileges at the Hive have also been revoked.
“The coach is not only done with our program and playing in our even but, from what I understand from the director of the program he was with, he's no longer a coach with them as well. They terminated that that evening,” Musselman said.