Youth Hockey Coach Charged With Assault for Choking Ref

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A youth hockey coach in Iowa has been charged with assault after a video surfaced of him appearing to attack a referee during a game.

Eric Conard of Urbandale was charged with misdemeanor assault for choking a referee over a disagreement about a call.

The incident happened last month at MidAmerican RecPlex, according to KCCI, which obtained a copy of the police report. Conard claims the referee grabbed his right arm first. He also denied grabbing the ref by the throat.

However, after police reviewed surveillance video, they concluded that the coach was the aggressor.

"We do understand emotions can run high and when there's certain calls that maybe players and fans and coaches don't necessarily agree with. However, we have to make sure people are acting in an appropriate manner. These types of incidents, we take them very seriously," Sgt. Jason Heintz, West Des Moines police, told KCCI.

Conard and the referee both told police that they first clashed at a game last December. At that time, Conard was ejected from the game, according to the police report. 

The hockey team that Conard coached for has since suspended him. 

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