COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Keith Dalton and his crew of high school football referees, say they were officiating a game between Grove City High School and Central Crossing High School last Friday, when after the game they suddenly got locked inside the Grove City locker room.
“We as a group have now filed charges, against Grove City,” said Dalton, a high school referee, with the Central Ohio Football Association.
Dalton believes this action was taken against him and his crew for a controversial call made during the game, after which he says an assistant coach for Grove City came onto the field and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Once the game ended, Dalton says he and his crew were inside the locker room being evaluated on their performance, when the door was barricaded from the outside with a vending machine.
“And we had to push on the door, three of us, to at least get the door wedged so we can get out,” said Dalton.
In response to these allegations, the South-Western City School District, which Grove City falls under, sent NBC4 a statement saying in part:
“We continue to investigate this incident and have engaged the Grove City Police Department in the investigation to determine who was responsible for this behavior. Conduct of this nature has no place in our school community.”
Meanwhile, Dalton says both the principal and head coach of Grove City High School, issued him an apology. He also says the assistant coach who berated them was suspended for a game.
But he wants to see more done, especially when it comes to the safety of him and his crew. “That’s just all they can do, what we’re doing is protecting the officials, and saying that’s just crossing the line,” said Dalton.