SARASOTA, Fla. - Deputies with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office are investigating a youth football game that turned into a brawl. It happened at Riverview High School in Sarasota. When the fighting started, someone in the stands caught it all on camera.
During the first half of the game between the Sarasota Gators and the North Port Huskies Saturday, the video shows referee Jayme Ream getting into a heated discussion with the Gator coaching staff, which quickly turns violent.
Moments later, both coaches and referees run to Ream and a coach to try to break up the fight. Then number six on the Gator team tackles Ream. At that point, both teams rush the field, turning the game into an all-out brawl.
Colonel Steve Burns with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office says the melee is something his deputies will not tolerate.
"Adults who have been entrusted in a mentoring position with the youth of our community acting and behaving in that manner is absolutely unacceptable."
Sheriff's deputies say Ream told them the Gator coaching staff started yelling at him because they thought he was being unfair to the team and that's when things got out of hand.
"It's the worst I've seen to this extent. I've seen minor stuff that was also unacceptable, but nothing to this degree," says Col. Burns.
Sheriff's deputies are interviewing witnesses and trying to piece together what happened. Burns says two to three people seen in the video will face battery charges. No one was seriously injured in the brawl.
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