(9/4/2018) David Wooley and Byron McCoy have been friends for over a decade, and both have umpired youth softball for over 25 years.
But nothing prepared them for a Saturday night championship game that turned violent when a parent-coach and off-duty police officer allegedly attacked an official.
“I’ve seen some situations get out of control,” said McCoy. “I’ve seen some guys lose it on both sides. This is by far one of the worst situations we’ve ever had to deal with.”
It started with a conversation between Wooley and a player at the end of a close game.
“In a joking way he said please don’t leave early,” said McCoy. “If I gotta call you out it’ll be the last out of the game and your coach is gonna wanna fight me.”
But for some reason Edric Smith didn’t take it as a joke.
“Whatever was said got him fired up and ready to go out there towards David,” said McCoy.
“When he first approached me I felt like it was a little different,” said Wooley. “He bumped me, and immediately that’s an ejection.”
But then things escalated.
Wooley and witnesses say Smith rushed him and after yelling, punched him at least three times.
A ULM police officer who just happened to be making his rounds saw the commotion and arrested Smith.
Most people are still shocked Wooley didn’t hit back.
“I showed tremendous restraint,” said Wooley. “I’m even proud of myself…my whole thing was I know those girls were out there, I know fans were out there, and that meant more to me. That meant more to me than having to fight back or show my manhood.”
McCoy and Wooley hope this incident is a lesson for everyone, and they hope officials take a more serious look at security at these games.
“We have a lot of people who run these tournaments who don’t think of the safety and security of the people,” said Wooley. “Especially the umpires and the players.”