A Florida man who sucker punched an umpire over a high school baseball game was arrested Wednesday.
Jorge Aponte-Gonzalez, 41, was caught on camera slugging the ump during a game at Liberty High School in Kissimmee on April 18.
Ray Mora, a 63-year-old military veteran, was identified as the umpire.
“That individual was not even facing me,” Mora told Miami Fox affiliate WSVN. “At least the people who I faced when I was in combat, I saw them. I saw them in the distance. I knew they were coming. I was not even prepared.”
During the game, Aponte-Gonzalez’s son got into an argument with Mora, who responded and attempted to “maintain control” of the game, according to Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez.
After the inning, Mora stood outside a gate and waited for another umpire to relieve him, which is common practice in high school baseball games.
As the ump stood behind a fence, Aponte-Gonzalez walked over and punched him in the face, knocking Mora out cold. Bystanders rushed to his aid, while Aponte-Gonzalez walked away from the scene.
“The guy’s not even facing him, because he’s a coward,” Lopez said. “Sometimes adults act worse than kids.”
Aponte-Gonzalez was charged with battery on a sports official and disruption of a school function. He was arrested Wednesday afternoon, but posted $1,500 bail and was released Thursday morning, the Osceola News-Gazette reported.
The sucker punch in Florida was the latest in a series of attacks nationwide on umpires of low-level baseball and softball games. Umpires from New Jersey to Ohio to Mississippi have been assaulted during games in the past two years.
“You don’t defend your kid like this,” Sheriff Lopez said Wednesday.
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