Saturday, May 24, 2008

Scuzzbuckets of the Week

Two supposedly grown men in Slidell went after each other after a baseball game involving eight year old kids.

According to the TP
A Slidell baseball coach delivered a series of blows against another coach and slashed through the air with a baseball bat after tossing his wife from his back in a video of a Monday night brawl at a youth baseball game that shows events more violent and one-sided than initial police accounts.

The squabble, which brought out eight police officers, ended with the arrests of Jason Chighizola, 32, who is a board member with the baseball association, and Robert Johnson, 34. Both men, who each had a son playing for their teams, were booked with simple battery and disturbing the peace by fighting.

Monday night's game at the Slidell Bantam Baseball Association's fields near Old Spanish Trail seemed routine. The players, including both coaches' sons, played a clean game and had gathered at the center of the field to shake hands. But though his players abided by the show of good sportsmanship, Chighizola apparently refused to shake Johnson's hand, O'Neill said.

The two exchanged heated words, which Chighizola described as Johnson's attempt to provoke him as he tried to walk away toward the dugout.

"I tried to walk away from the confrontation," said Chighizola, 1008 Woodview Drive, Slidell. "He refused to let it go."

Johnson, 218 Crescentwood Loop, Slidell, declined to comment on the incident Wednesday.

After Johnson called him out, Chighizola said, he walked back to the opposing coach.

That's when the fists started flying.

When Chighizola got close, Johnson flinched as if he were preparing to hit him, O'Neill said. Chighizola said Johnson hit him lightly in the chest as he moved.

Chighizola struck, hitting Johnson above his left eye and leaving a cut that would require stitches, O'Neill said.

"Obviously I regret that," Chighizola said. "Hindsight being 20-20, I wish I had just walked away."

Spectators began to rush the field, spouses began yelling at each other and some people tried to separate the two men, he said.

As the crowd approached, Johnson grabbed a nearby bat and began swinging it in an apparently defensive effort to keep others at bay, O'Neill said. No one was hit by the bat, he said.

Chighizola was arrested on the scene and Johnson was taken to a local hospital, where he received stitches for the cut above his eye, before being booked in Slidell City Jail, O'Neill said.

The feud between the two men apparently dates back six months to a year, said Dennis Neyland, president of the baseball association and head of a committee formed to investigate the incident.

Chighizola said the bad blood started when he was chosen to coach an All Star baseball team over one of Johnson's relatives. Neyland said Johnson told the league's investigative committee a different reason for the dispute but did not elaborate on what Johnson said.

Whatever the cause, the fight could have serious repercussions for both men. If convicted, their charges could bring up to nine months in jail and more than a $1,000 in fines.



It's really pathetic when adults can't be role models for their children because of their precious egos. This is nothing new. There are parents out there whose children play sports that are unbelievably immature and obnoxious when they should be thinking about teaching their kids sportsmanship. I feel sorry for the children of these dolts.

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