A New Jersey father has been indicted under a new state law intended to curb rowdy adult behavior at youth athletic events.
A Monmouth County grand jury last week charged the man, Nicola Antuofermo, 39, with assaulting the umpire, Mike Guiney, 50, at home plate last July 11. Antuofermo was coaching at an all-star baseball game for 10-year-old boys, said the New York Times.
If convicted, Antuofermo will face up to 18 months in jail under a law the State Legislature enacted in August 2002 in hopes of keeping adults civil toward coaches, umpires, referees and one another while their children compete.
The Monmouth County prosecutor said yesterday the case apparently was the first time a grand jury has brought charges under the law.
The fracas erupted after Antuofermo’s son, a catcher, was struck on the head with a bat as a hitter completed his swing. The batter hit a ball into play on the swing. As the boy lay crying at the plate, Antuofermo rushed from a dugout to help him, according to a police report. An argument ensued then escalated when the umpire refused to stop the play so the boy could be helped.