College football player arrested after punching referee during game

Sgt. Mike Pallotto of the Ventura College police department reviews game footage to determine whether a Mt. St. Antonio College player punched a referee during a community college football game in Ventura, Calif. on Saturday night (Joe Curley/The Ventura County Star via AP)

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. (AP) — A California junior college football player has been arrested after he appeared to punch a referee during a game Saturday night.

The Ventura County Star reports that Mount San Antonio freshman offensive linesman Bernard Schirmer was immediately ejected from the game and later arrested on suspicion of battery and taken to Ventura County jail.

Police say the official, whose name was not released, had broken up an argument between players and was struck while walking Schirmer back to his huddle.

Trainers from both Mount San Antonio and Ventura College immediately raced onto the field to tend to the injured official. He was replaced and did not return to the game.

The newspaper reports that California Community College Athletic Association bylaws say striking an official is punishable by a five-year ban.

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