'I am sorry:' Dad apologizes, defends actions against high school referee

'I just didn't want to see my daughter get hurt,' he says

By Vanessa Araiza - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando father is facing battery charges after deputies say he pushed a referee during his daughter's wrestling match. 

The incident happened Saturday at Cypress Creek High School during a championship match. 

"I just didn't want to see my daughter get hurt. It's just that simple," Roberto Rios said. 

Rios said he became concerned when his daughter was put in a certain position by her opponent. 

"She was involved in a move called a half and in wrestling when the move gets dangerous they call it potentially dangerous, which has the potential to be dangerous. Not be dangerous and then stop it," Rios said. 

Rios said he continued to yell, "shoulder, shoulder" to the ref to call the move, but said the ref called the move too late. 

"He waited until the injury occurred before he decided to take action, which was wrong," Rios said. 

After the ref made the call, cellphone video taken by his wife across the court shows Rios walk out of the stands and up to the referee.  

"I went to check on her and when I walk up to check on her she was screaming and writhing in pain, and I don't remember anything after that besides getting asked to leave," Rios said. 

According to the arrest report, Rios hit the referee in the back of the neck and midsection. 

"I am sorry that it happened. I just wish that maybe my daughter would have been protected," Rios said. 

He plans to make a complaint against the referee. 

News 6 called and emailed the Florida High School Athletic Association for a comment. 

Because association officials have yet to receive a report from the host school or the official they said they would not make a comment until the report is received. 

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