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ANAHEIM : Football League Bans Boy Involved in Fight

A 13-year-old member of the Garden Grove Pop Warner football team was banned from league play for allegedly assaulting two referees after a title game at Glover Stadium, a league official said Monday.

The boy, whose name was not released, started the scuffle as people were leaving the field Sunday night. The La Habra Raiders had defeated the Garden Grove Vikings, 14-0, in the Orange Empire Conference Midget League championship game, for youths between 11 and 14.

The youth apparently became upset in the first quarter when game official Tony Bruscia penalized him for repeatedly heckling La Habra players, said Dave Fabrizio, head referee for the Pop Warner Orange Empire Conference.

Following the game, three spectators, who officials believe are adults related to the player, joined the youth in striking Bruscia, of Huntington Beach, and Robert Gordon Xiques, who came to the aid of his fellow referee.

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The four fled before police arrived, but the organization will support the referees in pressing charges, said Jack Dempsey, league commissioner.

“The program is for youth, not for guys out of control,” Dempsey said. “Some people just don’t realize that this is just a ballgame. It’s not going to change anyone’s life.”

Bruscia, who could not be reached for comment Monday, was treated at Humana Hospital-Huntington Beach for a strained left thumb and contusions to his right arm, head and face, a hospital spokeswoman said.


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