Police are investigating a brawl that erupted in the stands at a high school basketball game after a fan was punched by an announcer.
Witnesses gave conflicting accounts about what sparked the incident at the Woods Cross-Bountiful game last Thursday, and no charges have been filed, said Lt. Clarence Montgomery.Woods Cross was ahead by four points in the final seconds and emotions were running high when a technical foul was called against a Bountiful player.
Montgomery said a Bountiful fan then shouted a racial slur at the announcer, Alema Te-o.
Te-o, a teacher at Woods Cross, went into the stands to talk to the fan but what happened next is not clear, the officer said.
Some witnesses said a third man grabbed Te-o around the neck, while others said the man was trying to separate Te-o and the unidentified fan who had shouted the slur.
Montgomery said witnesses had no doubts about what happened next: Te-o punched the third man, Donald Petersen of Salt Lake City, knocking him down.
Fans then started coming out of the stands, and officials stopped the game with Woods Cross declared the winner, 59-55. Other fights broke out as the crowd moved out into the parking lot, and police backups were called in to assist the two off-duty officers working security for the game.
Montgomery said it took about 20 officers 45 minutes to control the crowd.
Other altercations were broken up before they became serious, but one youngster was referred to juvenile court as a result of the melee.
Woods Cross acting principal Michael Jarman said he will take no further action until the police investigation is complete.
Jarman, who could not recall any other post-game fights in recent years, said he believes the incident was a fluke and not the result of school rivalry.
"There is a rivalry, but it's been what I'd call a friendly rivalry. (This) was more of a personal incident," he said.