Parent said racial slur led to tackling referee at Jr. High game
MOUNTAIN PINE (KATV) —
A Garland County man is facing a felony charge for tackling a referee at a junior high basketball game.
Since it happened, more than one party decided to press charges -- but for the first time the parent speaks out and tells Channel 7 he was provoked.
The small town of Mountain Pine was in complete shock when it saw one of its parents leave the stands and tackle an official during a junior high basketball game.
In our exclusive sit-down with the parent he said it was a racial slur that pushed him over the edge.
It was late in game between Jessieville and Mountain Pine junior high girls when Jessieville began fouling to stop the clock.
"A gentleman in the crowd took exception to a foul that was called," said Mountain Pine Superintendent Bobby Gray.
That gentleman was 33-year-old Tyrell Honey, a local barber, watching his 7th grade daughter.
"The girl just come up and slung my daughter. So I was like that's a flagrant foul, that's a tech, that's intentional."
Honey said it was at that time that he and the ref starting jawing at one another, but according to Honey the argument went to another level when the official added a racial slur.
"I was like 'I can come down there and do your job better than you, don't make me come down there,'" Honey told us in his only interview since the incident.
"He said 'C'mon big boy ni**a.'"
That is when Honey said he was unable to control himself and ran onto the court, tackling the ref to the ground.
"It's just something I just heard it and I snapped," he added.
Since that event the school district took immediate action.
"He is, he will be banned from all activities for the remainder of the school year and this might go on even longer," Gray added.
Honey said he's since publicly apologized for his actions through his Facebook page and knows he was in the wrong, especially in front of kids.
"That's not the type of person or what you need to do at a ball game," Honey said.
Both the school district and referee are pressing charges against Honey. He'll face a felony charge of 2nd degree battery at a court date later this month.
If convicted it states a person must be sentenced to no less than five years and no more than 20 years in prison.