Referee talks punch after youth football game

Dion Robinson accused of punching referee

Author: Roger Lohse, Reporter, rlohse@Local10.com
Published On: Oct 16 2012 10:45:47 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 17 2012 10:58:57 AM EDT
Guy hits ref
WEST PARK, Fla. -

A youth football referee talked about what led up to him being punched in the face by, police say, an assistant coach for one of the teams.

"It shocked me because I'm 318 pounds, so for him to knock me to the ground, he got me really good.," said Andrew Keigans, the referee.

WATCH: Man punches referee

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office, Dion Robinson, 43, an assistant coach for the West Park Saints, punched Keigans after a game between the Saints and Miramar Patriots was called in the third quarter on Saturday. The head referee called the game because some of the West Park coaches came onto the field to protest a call.

Police used video to identify Robinson as the man who they say threw the punch.

Robinson was charged with battery on a sports official during/after a contest. He bonded out of jail on Tuesday morning.

WATCH: Dion Robinson leaves jail

Keigans said it was the first time in 14 years refereeing youth sports that he was physically attacked during a game.

"It's just nuts," said Keigans.

Robinson said he was protecting his players from the referee. Keigans said the melee was an overreaction to his accidental run in with one of the players.

"I bumped into one of the players, and that's when someone yelled from the stands, 'He pushed the kid,' and that's when all the coaches and fans started running out on to the field," said Keigans.

Court records show Robinson has criminal history dating back 25 years, including arrests for robbery, cocaine, and drive-by shootings.

West Park Mayor Eric Jones said Robinson was fired from his job as assistant coach of the West Park Saints, and said he never should he been on the sidelines in the first place.

Jones showed Local 10's Roger Lohse the city's background check on Robinson, which only checked Miami-Dade County records. All of Robinson's serious crimes were in Broward. Jones said the city was following Miami Xtreme football league's hiring procedures.

"The organization, our league, they're located in Dade and everyone else was doing it there, so we just did it in the same place," said Jones. "We didn't think there would be a difference. A background check is a background check."

Jones said the city has suspended all youth sports so it can revamp the background checks on volunteers. Keigans said that hurts him much more than the shot he took to the face on Saturday.

"I feel really badly that the kids season has to end like that," said Keigans.

According to court records, Keigans was arrested for drug violations in 2003 and 2004 but was not convicted.