Lakewood, CO – A mob of brawling parents managed to ruin the rest of the season for two baseball teams of seven-year-olds, according to the local sports association board (video below).
The incident occurred at the Westgate Elementary baseball fields on June 15, the Lakewood Police Department (LPD) said in a series of Twitter posts.
“These coaches and parents, unhappy with a baseball game involving 7-year-olds and a 13-year-old umpire, took over the field and began assaulting each other,” the department said, according to KUSA.
Prior to the brawl, the young umpire warned both sides about using vulgar language, his parents told KUSA in an interview.
Someone believed that the teen should have ousted the people who were swearing from the game altogether, which ignited an argument that quickly turned physical, they explained.
The boy said he now “feels guilty [that] he could not gain control of the situation” so that the adults on the field wouldn’t have assaulted one another, a family member said.
But police said the teen did nothing wrong, and that the adults were the ones who lost control.
The first-grade matchup between the teams from Denver and Bear Creek ended abruptly as a group of adults began pummeling each other out on the field, the video showed.
Some of the children looked on in confusion, while others scurried away in fear.
None of the children were injured during the altercation.
At one point, a man in a white shirt and teal-colored shorts punched another man so violently, the victim was immediately knocked to the ground.
Police said they are still looking for the man who threw that punch.
“My heart is broken,” said parent Lizmar Thurber, who recorded the footage. “My heart is broken for our children, both teams, that they had to experience this violence between adults.”
Police cited five people in connection with the brawl, and additional citations may be forthcoming, KUSA reported.
Manuel Miramon Garduno, Manuel Miramon Garduno Jr., Darren Jearld Garduno, David Anthony Williams, and Earnest Gabriel Vigil were each cited with disorderly conduct.
The men range in age from 24 to 55, according to NBC News.
LPD Public Information Officer John Romero said it was “horrible” that “these parents and coaches decided to take it out on each other,” KUSA reported.
“You think it’s common sense to not do this at any sporting event, especially around kids,” Officer Romero said. “It’s a good reminder for adults: Whether you’re a parent or not, you have these children who look up to you, think before you act.”
“You have 7-year-olds playing a baseball game and it’s the parents that need to grow up,” he told NBC News.
The Bear Creek Junior Sports Association (BCJSA) issued a statement on its website apologizing for the behavior of the individuals involved in the brawl.
“BCJSA has ZERO tolerance for this type of behavior….PERIOD,” the group noted. “We are embarrassed, ashamed and angry that this has taken place.”
The association ended the season for both teams early, and noted that all “coaches and parents identified participating in the incident are being removed indefinitely,” according to the statement.
You can watch footage of the violent altercation in the video below: