Texas high school player charged with assault after shoving referee

The Texas high school football player who ran onto the field and shoved a referee to the turf after being ejected from a game Thursday night was charged with misdemeanor assault Friday.

Emmanuel Duron, 18, was charged at an arraignment hearing in Edinburg Municipal Court. Bond was set at $10,000, and Duron was released from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Jail after posting the bond through a bail bondsmen, The Monitor newspaper (McAllen, Texas) reported.

If convicted on the Class A charge, Duron could face up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.

Duron, a senior defensive lineman/kicker/punter at Edinburg High School, was escorted from Edinburg’s Richard R. Flores Stadium by four Edinburg police officers after he leveled referee Fred Gracia following his ejection in the second quarter. Gracia tossed Duron for committing a personal foul and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the same play. The Monitor reported that Duron received the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for exchanging words with Gracia after being flagged for a late hit.

(WARNING: Obscene language in the below video.)

Gracia, 59, eventually walked off the field. He was later evaluated for for a possible concussion and a shoulder injury, The Monitor’s Andrew McCulloch reported. The game proceeded with a short-handed officiating crew.

Gracia’s daughter Iris posted Friday on Twitter that her father was “doin’ alright.”

Edinburg defeated Pharr-San Juan-Alamo North 35-21 for a berth in the Texas state playoffs in Class 6A Division 1, but the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District forfeited the spot Friday because of Duron’s actions.

“We extend a sincere apology to the referee and his family. On behalf of the Edinburg CISD Board of Trustees and administration, we apologize to the athletes, staff, and our school community,” the district said in a statement published by The Monitor.

“We will take the appropriate disciplinary action once we understand the facts and circumstances underlining this incident. The district takes these matters very seriously; however, we cannot comment further on a pending investigation.”

Dozens of Edinburg players gathered at city hall Friday afternoon to ask the city and the school district to allow the team to compete in next week’s playoffs, The Monitor reported. 

The Monitor reported Thursday that Duron — who is also a top wrestler — was involved in a similar incident when he was playing soccer for Edinburg last school year. He was suspended for the remainder of the season then.

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