Florida sergeant arrested after punching youth soccer referee

March 30, 2023 / Athletic AdministrationSoccer
A Florida sergeant was recently arrested after a video emerged of him punching a referee in the face during a youth soccer game.

Sgt. Michael Russell, a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office homicide sergeant has been arrested earlier this week and was charged with battery on a sports official.

sergeantA recent story from News4Jax.com detailed the events that led up to the sergeant being arrested at a youth soccer game.

Below is an excerpt from the News4Jax.com story.

“We never relish arresting an employee of this agency. However, our collective belief in transparency, openness and accountability outweighs any personal allegiance,” Waters said. “We are a society of laws, and no one is above those laws.”

Waters said that, according to their investigation, Russell was at a youth soccer game Sunday morning in plain clothes and off duty. When a fight broke out between some of the players, the referees attempted to break it up and were blowing their whistles repeatedly, Waters said.

Russell then went onto the field and punched one of the refs in the face, knocking the whistle out of his mouth, Waters said.

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“It’s really confusing to me,” Waters said when asked why Russell might have punched the referee. “It’s disappointing.”
The arrest report revealed that the incident happened at Losco Regional Park in Mandarin, and that it was caught on video.
To read the full story from News4Jax.com, click here.