Man, 31, arrested after tackling soccer referee

A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of felony battery after tackling a referee following a soccer match in Temecula, authorities said Monday.

Charles Haynes was ejected during a match Sunday evening between adult soccer teams at Patricia H. Birdsall Sports Park, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

The incident occurred after the two teams had begun to fight and the referee, Gaston Manrique, 50, ended the game with 20 minutes left in regulation time.

As Manrique was recording the final score on the field, Haynes tackled him. Manrique was taken to a hospital and examined for possible spinal injuries, authorities said.

Haynes fled before sheriff’s deputies arrived at the park. Police found him later at his residence in Canyon Lake.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony battery and battery against a sports official.