High school football star charged with assault after decking ref, district cancels season


A Texas high school football star has been charged with assault after he laid out a referee upon being ejected from a playoff game on Thursday night.

Emmanuel Duron of Edinburg High School, near McAllen, appeared in municipal court on Friday and charged with Class A assault, a misdemeanor, the Associated Press reported.

Bail was set at $10,000, and the 18-year-old remained in jail on Friday.

As well, Edinburg School District on Friday announced that Edinburg High was being removed from the postseason.

The shocking incident made headlines late Thursday night and into Friday, as videos and photos showed Duron rush onto the field and blindside the 58-year-old ref with a body slam upon the announcement of his ejection for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Jarring photos showed Duron being escorted out of the stadium by armed police officers.

Duron was named player of the year in his district last season.

Addressing the incident in a statement on Friday, the school district offered a "sincere apology" to the official, and said the high school's postseason run was over, according to Amanda Atwell of CBS 4 Rio Grande Valley.

"The district has decided to remove the Edinburg High School football team from the playoffs after an unexpected incident involving a student that occurred during a football game on December 3, 2020. 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.

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

The referee who was decked by Duron, later identified as Fred Garcia, was evaluated in an ambulance for concussion symptoms and a shoulder injury appeared to be OK, reports aid.

Edinburg won the postseason game over rival Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, and would have advanced to the next round if not for the incident.