Arrested College Football Player Says He Didn’t Mean To Punch Referee

VENTURA, Calif. (AP) – A California junior college football player who was arrested after he appeared to punch a referee during a game has apologized, saying it was an accident.

Video shows the referee falling to the ground as he tried to break up a fight on the field. Police say he was knocked unconscious.

Mount San Antonio College freshman Bernard Schirmer was ejected from the game Saturday and later arrested on suspicion of battery. He posted bail Sunday.

Schirmer tells the Ventura County Star newspaper (http://bit.ly/2cQZh4e ) that he often tries to calm down by hitting himself on the helmet and he didn’t realize the line judge was so close. Schirmer says he’s “truly sorry.”

College officials say they reviewed video footage and talked to witnesses, concluding that Schirmer “unintentionally hit the referee.”

Prosecutors will decide whether to charge Schirmer.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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