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Spring Grove football player charged with assault after attacking official at conclusion of game

Tyree Brooks, 18, is facing aggravated assault, simple assault, and assault on a sports official charges for his role in the incident.

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — A Spring Grove High School football player is facing charges after assaulting an official after the completion of last week's game against Dover.

Tyree Brooks, 18, of North Codorus Township, is facing aggravated assault, simple assault, and assault on a sports official charges for his role in the incident.

He will be arraigned Wednesday and has a preliminary hearing set for Nov. 5.

The charges come after Brooks attacked an official at the conclusion of the game against Dover on Oct. 1.

Brooks allegedly tackled the victim, moving him five yards from the point of impact and driving his head into the ground, according to the criminal complaint affidavit filed by Northern York Regional Police after the alleged incident.

Brooks also allegedly struck the official once with a closed fist, according to the criminal complaint.

The referee in the alleged attack, identified in the complaint as Richard Delaughter, suffered a two-inch laceration to his forehead and appeared "disoriented" following the incident, according to Northern Regional Police Officer Matthew Chetatis, who is listed as the arresting officer in the complaint.

Delaughter told police he did not remember what happened during the alleged attack, only that he "got hit," according to the complaint. He was still bleeding from the cut to his forehead during his interview with police, but did not appear to be aware he was bleeding, the complaint states.

Chetatis, one of the officers on duty providing security at the game, gave his account of the alleged incident in the criminal complaint. 

Other witnesses were also interviewed, including Delaughter, other referees on the field, members of Spring Grove's coaching staff, and a number of Brooks' teammates, Chetatis said in the complaint.

He also consulted multiple videos for footage of the alleged incident, according to the complaint.

The following is an account of what happened, according to the complaint:

  • As time was expiring in the fourth quarter of Spring Grove's 29-14 victory over Dover, members of both teams began walking onto the field. 
  • One player, later identified as Brooks, was seen running toward Delaughter, an official at the game who was serving as the back judge. Brooks struck Delaughter, leading with his upper body and helmet, before wrapping his arms around the victim and driving him to the ground. He then struck the victim once with a closed fist before a member of Spring Grove's coaching staff -- later identified as head coach Kyle Sprenkle -- separated him from Delaughter.
  • Chetatis and other officers arrived and assisted in securing Brooks. He was initially lying face down on the field, but was turned on his side by police officers.
  • Brooks' family arrived on the field, seeking information about what had happened. Brooks and his family were moved to a secure room at the school to de-escalate the situation.
  • While Brooks was being escorted to the secure room, he was heard stating several times that "he knew what he was doing" and that he "had thought it through before rushing onto the field."
  • The victim had ejected Brooks from the game earlier in the night, after first flagging him for unsportsmanlike conduct for taunting an opponent. He then assessing another unsportsmanlike conduct on Brooks when he argued the first penalty, accusing Delaughter of "abusing his authority."
  • By PIAA rule, a player who is penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct is automatically ejected from the game.
  • While on the sidelines following his ejection, Brooks was "emotional for about five minutes" and then was "calm for the remainder of the game," Sprenkle told police in an interview one day after the incident.
  • Investigators photographed Brooks' helmet after the game. There was blood spatter present on the helmet. 
  • Police interviewed six of Brooks' teammates. Those who were on the field when Brooks was initially penalized told police Delaughter did not make any inflammatory comments toward Brooks that might have prompted the physical contact after the game.
  • Police attempted a follow-up interview with Brooks by phone after the incident, but Brooks invoked his right to remain silent and did not speak with police.
  • Spring Grove school officials provided video of the incident taken from an iPad used to record game footage and footage taken from a livestream of the game. The footage provided two viewing angles of the incident.

George N. Marros, the attorney representing Brooks in the case, released this statement:

"“[Tyree] accepts responsibility for his conduct and understands that there is no excuse for his actions… [Tyree] acknowledges that no one has the right to harm another person and expresses his sincere remorse for his irresponsible and dangerous actions.”

Spring Grove Area School District officials apologized to Dover and Spring Grove fans, saying this incident is not representative of the Spring Grove athletics program or the district.

Now, Brooks will face charges for his role in the incident.

FOX43 will update this story with that statement once it becomes available.

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