A Springfield softball league umpire attacked during a game over a disputed call wants the accused suspect to face tougher charges.
Felony charges would set an example that violence at a community event won’t be tolerated, said the umpire, Donny Myers, 59, of Springfield.
“Somebody’s got to be held accountable for actions that harm people,” Myers said.
At a Monday night softball game on Aug. 3, 19-year-old Bailey Scanlon, of Springfield, allegedly punched Myers during the game after a disputed call, according to a Springfield Police Division incident report.
Myers called Scanlon out on strikes, the ump said, and then the player allegedly threw a bat at him and hit him in the head with a softball in his fist.
“They said a softball isn’t a weapon but any object that you use to inflict harm on somebody becomes a weapon in my opinion,” Myers said.
He sustained a concussion and hip pains from the assault, Myers said.
Scanlon declined to comment. He has been charged with misdemeanor assault.
In a pre-trial hearing Friday morning at Clark County Municipal Court, Scanlon refused a plea deal and asked for a trial, said Matthew Dibartola of the city prosecutor’s office.
A trial date hasn’t been set.
Myers has undergone weeks of concussion therapy and said he’s had a constant headache since the attack. He hasn’t been able to work as an umpire because of his injuries. Over the course of the season he will lose more than $2,000 in wages, he said.
The umpire doesn’t believe the possible punishment for a misdemeanor — a maximum six months in the county jail and/or $1,000 fine — fits the crime.
“He could get off with probation for almost killing somebody and I could have this headache for the rest of my life,” Myers said.
Felonious assault charges are warranted if the victim suffers serious physical harm, Clark County Prosecutor Andrew Wilson said.
“Serious” has many different interpretations, he said, but his office usually uses the standard of if the assault creates a risk of death or loss of limbs.
The National Trail Parks and Recreation District has banned Scanlon from its adult sports leagues for life, said Amy Van Huffel, who is in charge of the programs.
“Behavior like that will not be tolerated,” she said.
National Trail wants its leagues to be events that families can enjoy together, Van Huffel said, and policies have been put in place to prevent such outbursts.
The attack on an umpire is also a blow to league officials, who are already having a tough time finding people to work the games, said Josh Hart, who is in charge of assigning umpires to the games.
“It will be even harder if we don’t set a precedent that will deter other players from committing assault on officials,” he wrote in a letter to the court.