COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A local softball player in a Columbus Recreation and Parks Department (CRPD) adult league has been banned for life after punching an umpire — an incident during a game at Berliner Park that was caught on camera.

Wiley Butler, the umpire, officiates at Berliner regularly.

“I was just doing my job, doing my job like I do four nights a week down here at Berliner. I do this and I love it, but that stole something from, me that night,” Butler said.

Butler asked the catcher to move over a bit and told him why, he said, when the player became verbally abusive. After putting up with some of that behavior, Butler said he threw him out — and that’s when the punch came.

“I was stunned more than anything. I think I kind of went into shock, in a sense, because I could not believe I got punched on the softball field. I really just couldn’t believe it,” Butler said.

Butler loves the game and the park, but said what transpired has him questioning his umpiring future. After 17 years of umpiring, and playing, he’s seen heated moments — but said something like this was a first.

“Umpires, we’re taught to have thick skin, we know they’re not going to agree. Hey, I’ve fussed at umpires. I’m a player too, so I understand that,” he said. “But I’ve never once tried to physically harm an umpire, and that’s where the line was crossed, period.”

Butler filed a police report and John Graceffo, his attorney, said they plan on taking legal action.

“What this other person did amounts to nothing less than criminal conduct, and he needs to pay for that,” Graceffo said.

CRPD leaders called the incident unacceptable.

“The player received a lifetime ban,” wrote Dominique Shank, community relations chief, in a statement. “We fully support the umpire’s decision to pursue legal action against the player. In addition, the entire team has been put on probation for the remainder of the season, meaning any violation of the rule book will result in a lengthy suspension for the whole team.”

Butler said he is fine physically.

“It’s more the mental part,” he said. “Thinking about it, having that flashback in your head, that’s the part where I’m trying to get over right now.”