OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – A Kissimmee man has bonded out of jail after deputies said he hit an umpire in the head after a playoff baseball game at Liberty High School.
Jorge Aponte-Gonzalez was arrested on Wednesday after deputies said he hit Reinaldo Mora in the head at a playoff baseball game between Liberty High School and Harmony High School. Mora officiated that game.
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“All of a sudden, I felt something here in my temple, knocked me down,” Mora said. “I don’t know.”
The incident happened on April 18. Surveillance video shows who is believed to be Aponte-Gonzalez come up behind Mora and hit him in the head.
“I don’t know him,” Mora said. “I don’t even know his face.”
Hear more of Reinaldo Mora’s story:
Mora said he initially did not know who hit him until other people told him. He said he issued Gonzalez’s son an unsportsmanlike warning and believes the two events are connected.
“It has to be,” Mora said. “There was nothing else during the game.”
Mora isn’t alone when it comes to incidents like this.
According to a survey of 17,000 officiants conducted by the National Association of Sports Officials, nearly 47% of those who responded said they felt unsafe or feared for their safety because of spectators, coaches, players or administrator behavior.
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Nearly 60% said sportsmanship is getting worse.
Despite the alleged assault, Mora is a ready to continue officiating.
“Actually, I’m relaxed and I go into every game with the mentality of, ‘Have fun,’” Mora said. “If you stop having fun, sell your equipment and go fishing.”
Mora said he is all about accountability, whether it’s on the side of the officiant or the side of the players, spectators or coaches.
Gonzalez is facing charges for battery on a sports official and disruption of a school function.
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