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VIDEO: Football Player Charged after Tackling Referee, Sending Him To Hospital

Edinburg, TX – A Texas high school senior who attacked a referee during a football game last night has likely ended his high school football career and is now facing criminal charges (video below).

The incident occurred during the second quarter of a win-or-go-home District 31-6A zone play-in game between Edinburg High School and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Early College High School on Dec. 3, The Monitor reported.

That’s when Edinburg’s star defensive player – 18-year-old senior Emmanuel Duron – started getting out of hand.

Referee Fred Gracia, 58, flagged Duron early in the quarter after he shoved a PSJA offensive lineman and tried to tackle their quarterback after the whistle had been blown to end the play, The Monitor reported.

Duron challenged Gracia’s call and the referee ejected him from the game due to the back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct calls.

A split second after Gracia announce the penalty, Duron charged him from the sidelines, The Monitor reported.

Video from the game showed Duron racing onto the field with teammates and coaches on his heels, trying to stop him.

The defensive end crashed into the referee and checked him chest-to-chest at full speed, according to The Monitor.

Gracia went flying backwards onto the ground as teammates dragged Duron away from him, the video showed.

Video showed that several police officers escorted Duron from the field after he attacked the referee.

Edinburgh defeated PSJA 35-21 and Duron will likely be benched for the remainder of his high school career, The Monitor reported.

He was charged with Class A assault on Friday and bond was set at $10,000.

The Police Tribune reached out to the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District Police Department for more information but did not receive a response by publication time.

Gracia was injured in the attack, The Monitor reported.

He was able to walk out of the stadium to an ambulance but was then transported to the hospital where he remained overnight for a potential shoulder injury and concussion-like symptoms.

His condition was unknown.

Gracia has been a referee with the Texas Association of Sports Officials for 27 years, according to The Monitor.

Duron was the district’s Defensive Player of the Year and The Monitor’s All-Area Boys Wrestler of the Year last season, but he was suspended from the soccer team during the 2019-2020 season because of a similar incident during a game against Edinburg Vela.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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