A football game between two California community colleges Saturday included the arrest of a player for punching a referee in the head. Bernard Shirmer, a player at Mt. San Antonio College, was arrested during a game with Ventura College. The Los Angeles Times reported that he was booked on suspicion of felony battery and released on bail Sunday morning. Video below shows the incident, which took place as the referee was separating groups of players who had been in a scuffle.
Mt. San Antonio College released a statement in which it said that punching the referee was an accident. "After closely reviewing video footage and interviewing those involved and outside witnesses, Mt. SAC maintains that the student-athlete, Bernard Shirmer, unintentionally hit the referee," the statement said. "During a disagreement after a play, numerous people surrounded him and pulled him away from the opposing player. Out of frustration, Mr. Shirmer struck himself on the helmet, a habit he often does to calm himself down. In doing so, he inadvertently hit the referee and initially believed someone else had done so. Mr. Shirmer expressed deep remorse about the incident and any harm to the referee."
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