VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) -- A high school basketball fan who police say rushed from the stands after a game and attacked a referee was promptly arrested by the ref, who's also an Indiana state trooper.
Patrick Rempala, 64, of Michigan City faces charges of battery and resisting arrest for his struggle Friday night with Trooper Glen Fifield after a boys game.
Police said Rempala rushed from the stands at Washington Township High School in Porter County after its team beat Michigan City Marquette 32-31 and confronted the referees, screaming "you suck" before pointing at Fifield's chest and bumping him.
The trooper said he tried to walk away from Rempala as a school administrator stepped in between the two, but Rempala managed to pushed him again, prompting Fifield to identify himself as a police officer and tell Rempala he was under arrest.
Fifield said Rempala replied, "You can't arrest me, you're a referee," and pushed the trooper again. A struggle then unfolded in which spectators stepped in to help Fifield but not before Rempala allegedly tried to choke the officer with his ref whistle neckstrap.
Once Rempala realized he had attacked a trooper, Fifield reported that he said, "That's not fair."
The trooper, who said he suffered knee and shoulder pain after the struggle, isn't sure why the fan was angry. He spoke to the Marquette coach and wasn't told of any controversial calls.
The Associated Press left a message seeking comment from Rempala at a telephone number listed in his name.
Fifield said he has been confronted by fans before, but this was the first time he's been attacked in his six years as a referee.
"It's just a shame it had to happen where kids could see," Fifield said.
Information from: The Times, http://nwitimes.com