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Player, Referee Arrested After Incident in Game : Preps: Compton Centennial player allegedly strikes referee, who is then accused of pushing a second player. Game against Beverly Hills is halted.

October 22, 1995|ERIC SHEPARD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A high school football referee and a player were arrested on separate simple battery charges after an incident during a game on Friday afternoon.

The game between Compton Centennial and Beverly Hills was called off in the third quarter after referee Ken Smotrys was allegedly punched in the face by a 16-year-old Centennial player moments after the second-half kickoff, Beverly Hills police said.

Shortly after Smotrys made a citizen's arrest on the player, a second Centennial player, also a minor, requested a citizen's arrest of Smotrys, alleging the referee pushed him down, police said.

Another official, Sal Failla, said both teams went to their respective huddles after the kickoff, and he saw nothing out of the ordinary before the incident.

Smotrys was charged with simple battery and released. The player who allegedly struck him was charged with battery against an official and released to the custody of his mother, police said.

Each charge is a misdemeanor. Battery against an official carries a maximum fine of up to $2,000 and a year in jail.

Smotrys, 34, was struck on the left side of his face, breaking his eyeglasses and causing a gash above his left eye, police said.

Smotrys declined comment Saturday, but his wife, Diane Smotrys, said her husband was "very shaken up" by the incident.

"He has been officiating for 12 years and never had a problem before," she said.

Centennial Coach Omar Bradley and the players involved were unavailable for comment.

Dean Crowley, athletic commissioner of the Southern Section, said he will wait for a report from the officials before ruling. Any athlete who hits an official forfeits eligibility for their high school career. An appeal can be made after 18 months.

Beverly Hills was ahead of Centennial, 14-0, when the game was halted.

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