SPRING GROVE, Pa. (WHTM) — Spring Grove football’s Tyree Brooks has been charged with three counts of assault in connection with the attack on a PIAA referee at the end of the Rockets game against Dover this past Friday, according to court documents.
The criminal complaint shows Brooks, 18, has been charged with one felony of aggravated assault and two misdemeanors of simple assault and assault on a sports official.
According to court documents, Brooks “did forcefully tackle and punch the victim on his head causing injury.”
As police escorted Brooks to a secure room, the player “stated several times that he ‘knew what he was doing’ and ‘had thought it through before rushing out onto the field.'”
Get daily news, weather, and breaking news alerts straight to your inbox! Sign up for the abc27 newsletters here!
The victim has been identified as Richard Delaughter, who says he has been a high school official for 17 years. According to police, Delaughter stated he believes he was knocked out and was dazed the next day following the hit.
Police say Delaughter was “bleeding from a head wound from a laceration about 2 inches in length.”
According to the police report describing the incident, Brooks ran towards the official who “braces for the impending contact initiated by Brooks:
“Brooks leads with his upper body and helmet faced up making contact with the official’s upper body. Brooks wrapped his arms around the official and then uses his legs to drive the official backwards. As the official is driven backward he is temporarily lifted off the ground and moved about 5 yards. Brooks forcefully drives the official’s body to the ground as he is on top of him. Once the official hit the ground his hat flies off his head and is moved a few yards from him. The official’s head bounces off the playing field as part of getting knocked to the ground. Once on the ground, Brooks remains on top of the official by adjusting his body position. Brooks raises his left arm and strikes the official on the head with a closed fist.
“After the first punch is thrown, Brooks is forcefully removed from the official by adult members of the Spring Grove Area High School football team. Brooks was laying face down on the ground being restrained by the football team staff members,” according to the police report.
The school district confirmed on Saturday that a member of the football program attacked an official after Friday’s game, but did not identify who at the time.
“We are disappointed and saddened by the events that took place on Friday night, Oct. 1. A member of the Spring Grove High School football family attacked an official at the conclusion of the football game,” the school district said in a statement.
Parents who have heard about this situation say it was saddening, as younger athletes look to their upperclassmen. “But even the younger kids were there too and they’re watching and looking up to these people like the younger football players, the younger cheerleaders. I think it’s very unfortunate,” Jen Bergels said.
Students say the incident at the football game against Dover Area High School was completely shocking. “It definitely doesn’t seem like something that would happen, like, this seems like a pretty laid-back school it doesn’t seem like that a fellow peer would do,” Kamden Brett said.
The senior linebacker had been ejected during the third quarter after receiving his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. There were approximately 10 minutes left in the third quarter at the time of ejection, according to police.
Brooks was arraigned Wednesday and has a preliminary hearing on Nov. 5.
Spring Grove won the game on Friday, Oct. 1 against Dover, 34-14. The 5-0 Rockets will now host unbeaten Central York on Friday, October 8.