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Woman, 66, Hurt, Referee Punched in Basketball Melee

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A 66-year-old woman was trampled and a referee punched in the face Sunday night during a fracas at Costa Mesa High School involving about a dozen parents of teenage basketball players.

Georgia Perteet was taken to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian for treatment of a lacerated elbow and a swollen knee, according to Loren Wyrick, a spokesman for the Costa Mesa Police Department. The unidentified referee suffered a swollen cheek but declined medical treatment.

The melee began about 5 p.m. after a basketball game in the school’s gymnasium between community league teams from Costa Mesa and Santa Ana. Angered by a referee’s earlier decision to bench a Santa Ana player, Wyrick said, a parent confronted the referee on the floor of the gymnasium, asking him for his name.

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As the referee walked away to get a pen and paper, the police spokesman said, the Santa Ana team’s coach approached and hit him in the face.

This prompted about 12 Santa Ana parents to rush onto the floor, accidentally trampling Perteet in the process. They then surrounded the referee, Wyrick said, but no further fighting took place.

“Obviously they took this way too seriously,” Wyrick said, adding that no other punches were thrown.

There were no arrests. But Wyrick said his department will investigate the incident and submit a report to the district attorney’s office for a determination on whether any charges should be filed.

“We don’t think this went the way it should,” he said.

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