GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH)–A crew of referees who were trapped inside a locker room after a Grove City football game, are still seeking answers over who was responsible.
“Someone needs to be held accountable,” said Keith Dalton, head referee.
That’s how Dalton and his crew of officials felt after nearly two months of waiting on an answer of who trapped them inside a locker room at a high school football game in September.
“Make no mistake about it, this was an act of violence, it was an act of violence,” said Christopher McCaleb, a referee.
The incident happened shortly after a game between Grove City and Central Crossing High Schools.
The referees said during the game, a controversial call was made on the field that led to them being berated by an assistant coach, who was later flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
After the game ended, the refs went back to the locker room to be reviewed on their performance and discovered they couldn’t leave.
“I tried to exit the locker room, and that’s when I noticed the door was barricaded,” said James Kakos, an evaluator with the Ohio Capital Conference.
“They wonder why we can’t get younger officials into the game of officiating, and that’s why,” said Gregory Moore, a fellow referee.
The referees said both the school and coaching staff have apologized for the incident and promised to investigate the matter along with help from the Grove City Police Department.
Right now, no suspect has been brought forward, and the investigation remains ongoing.
“It’s like they can do what they want to do to us, and our only recourse is to do what we’re doing right now,” said Ronald Wilson, a referee.
This is why they’ve hired an attorney, to help them seek justice on the matter.
“We’re going to make sure that we do not let this situation die down. And that we uncover what happened here, and that we protect not only these gentlemen but other referees throughout the state,” said Sean Walton, the referee’s attorney.
A bill is pending at the Statehouse that would make assaulting referees a crime in Ohio.