Off-Duty Police Chief Slapped In Face During Alabama Football Game

November 30, 2022 / Athletic AdministrationCoachingFootball
An off-duty Alabama police chief taking in a local high school football playoff game found himself in the middle of a brawl involving one team’s coach.

Oneonta police chief Charles Clifton was a spectator during the Oneonta-Cherokee County High School playoff game in Alabama when he intervened during a brawl that resulted in the chief being slapped in the face.

police chiefA recent article from WVTM13 detailed the situation in Alabama. Below is an excerpt from the WVTM13 article.

Clifton went to the game to support his daughter who’s an athletic trainer with the Oneonta football team. Things quickly got out of hand after the gridiron cleared.

“It appeared that they were pushing them around and trying to get to the coaches,” Clifton said.

Clifton was off-duty but was asked to intervene when a school resource officer was surrounded.

“As soon as I got there, I could hear the suspect—who was belligerent—talking about a disrespectful statement made by a coach on our team,” Clifton said.

The suspect claims an Oneonta football coach used a racial slur. The outraged suspect threw the school resource officer to the side—trying to get to the coaches.

“I was telling the guy, ‘Hey, you’re under arrest. You can’t threaten our people,” Clifton said, “in which time he reached around the gentleman and hit me in the right side of my face with the palm of his hand.”

Clifton tells WVTM 13 that after talking to witnesses there’s no proof so far that the Oneonta coach used a racial slur. He calls the man’s actions “harmful.”

“Words hurt, and words create dangerous situations,” Clifton said. “I condemn it at the highest level.”

The suspect has not been charged with assaulting a police officer yet but was banned from school grounds and events. Clifton said more must be done to show actions have consequences.

To read the full story from WVTM13 about the assault on the high school football field, click here.