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Umpire Charged With Putting Deputy In Chokehold During Argument At Baseball Game

Macks Creek, MO – A baseball umpire was arrested for assault after he allegedly brawled with a sheriff’s deputy and placed him in a chokehold over the weekend.

Camden County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Sergeant Scott Hines said the scuffle occurred at Ballparks National on Kissick Way on May 13, WDAF reported.

Deputies responded to the scene after receiving a report from a woman that 56-year-old umpire Neal Sidebottom pushed her out of his way during an argument at the baseball field, according to KYTV.

One of the deputies approached Sidebottom to get his statement as part of the investigation, at which point the umpire allegedly refused to identify himself.

Deputies said Sidebottom then attempted to walk away from them.

When the deputy tried to stop the umpire from leaving, a physical altercation erupted and they wound up wrestling on the ground, WDAF reported.

Sidebottom ultimately managed to place the deputy in a chokehold on the ground before a group of good Samaritans jumped in to help the struggling deputy, Sgt. Hines told the news outlet.

Deputies subsequently took Sidebottom into custody.

The unidentified deputy was transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries he suffered during the brawl, including a broken rib and contusions on his lower back, elbows and knees, KY3 reported.

“Our deputy was transported to the hospital and treated for his injuries,” Sgt. Hines told KY3. “He is back home now recovering and we hope to have him back to duty very soon, but he is on leave until he recovers.”

According to court documents, Sidebottom admitted he pushed the deputy to the ground but denied having ever placed him in a chokehold.

He noted that if he had put him in a chokehold, it was only by an accidental slip of his hand, KY3 reported.

The Camden County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged Sidebottom with resisting arrest and first-degree assault of a special victim.

A judge set his bond at $100,000, KY3 reported.

Sgt. Hines said he is thankful to everyone who jumped in to help the deputy when he needed it.

Ballparks National said Sidebottom has been fired and banned from the property.

“This was the first incident of this kind at Ballparks National in over 4,000 games played at the complex,” the organization said in a statement to KY3. “These types of incidents or behavior of this nature will not be tolerated, and this individual will no longer have any association with Ballparks National, nor will [he] be allowed on the facility grounds.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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