ARGYLE Two high school basketball referees were hurt and a Fort Edward man arrested after the man allegedly attacked one of the referees after a girls junior varsity basketball game Friday night, police said.
Daniel M. Fisher, 63, of Frank Street, was charged with unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor, and non-criminal harassment after the confrontation at Argyle High School, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Police said Fisher accosted one of the referees after a junior varsity girls basketball game between Argyle and Fort Edward high schools.
He is accused of pinning the referee — whose name was not released — to a wall and refusing to let him leave. When the other referee who worked in the game intervened, a struggle ensued in which the second referee suffered a cut hand, sheriff’s Senior Investigator Tony LeClaire said.
The ref who was pinned against the wall suffered a sprained finger, police said.
Charges were filed on behalf of the ref who was pinned against the wall, and the other did not seek prosecution despite his injury.
Fisher apparently knew one of the referees and was complaining to him about calls during the game when the second referee came to his aid. Fisher was accused of grabbing the second referee by the shirt and holding him against the wall, officials said.
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Roger Forando, the region’s referee assigner for girls high school basketball, said “sportsmanship” at school athletics events seems to be worsening, pointing to an incident in Whitehall in 2014 and others in the Albany area.
He said there have been 17 problems with fans in Section II this school year, including one this week at a Glens Falls-Hudson Falls girls basketball game in which a water bottle was thrown on the court in the direction of a Glens Falls player.
The Warrensburg-Whitehall boys varsity basketball game was halted Monday night because a fan had to be ejected for remarks to a referee, and State Police were called.
“We are quite concerned with the escalation of poor sportsmanship at basketball games,” Forando said.
He said he plans to check to see if the spectator who was involved will be banned from future games.
Fisher was released pending prosecution in Argyle Town Court. No one answered the phone at his home Thursday morning.
The weightiest charge he faces, unlawful imprisonment, is punishable by up to a year in Washington County Jail.