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Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)

A Coalfield High School senior baseball player, who threw two punches at an umpire after a game at Wartburg, was arrested last Friday on a misdemeanor assault charge.

In an arrest report obtained Tuesday by the News Sentinel from the Wartburg City Police Department, officer Chris Nance wrote in the complaint that umpire Jason Legg said he was assaulted by 18-year-old Brent Keener.

After speaking with a witness who captured the incident via a cellphone video, Nance saw Keener "swing 2 separate times, hitting the victim in the right eye with the second swing," he wrote in the report.

Nance then confirmed what he saw in the video with a witness, Ed Knight of WECO Radio, and Keener was arrested and transported to jail, according to the report.

Keener was released at 8:53 p.m. Friday on $2,000 bond, and his arraignment was set for June 26 at the Morgan County Courthouse, according to the Morgan County Sheriff's Office.

Coalfield athletic director Shawn Basler confirmed Monday that Keener was no longer on the baseball team.

Basler and Coalfield principal David Treece traveled to Hermitage on Tuesday to meet with TSSAA officials. Coalfield's baseball season has been put on hold by the TSSAA until a decision has been made about possible punishments, if any, over what transpired.

A video of the incident that surfaced on Facebook was obtained by the News Sentinel and showed umpires exiting the playing field though the Coalfield dugout. Coalfield lost the District 4-A game, 7-5. In the video, Coalfield coaches can be seen talking with the umpires as the officials slowly exited. Fans, located just outside the dugouts, shout "that's terrible" at the umpires.

As Legg attempted to stroll out of the dugout, an unidentified woman inside the dugout confronted Legg. Words were exchanged. A woman's voice can be heard twice saying, "You don't tell me to shut up." Legg slowly stopped and turned around to engage in discussion with a man in a green T-shirt - at which point, an unidentified Coalfield coach tried to intervene and continue ushering Legg off the premises toward the parking lot.

Coalfield players spilled out of the dugout behind the coach and walked aggressively toward Legg. A handful of adults stood nearby. Shouting commenced between the angry group and Legg, until Keener threw two right-hand punches over the right shoulder of a Coalfield coach at Legg.

"Oh no, that's a kid hitting," a voice says on the video.

Teammates restrained Keener, while Legg was escorted away.


April 22, 2014
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