After being arrested for suspicion of assaulting a referee, a Mount San Antonio College football player is apologizing and claiming he never intended to hit the official.
Bernard Schirmer was ejected from Saturday’s game against Ventura College during the third quarter, according to the Ventura County Star, after he appeared to hit a side judge who broke up an argument between the teams.
You can view video of the incident below:
Schirmer was released on bail Sunday, and now claims the whole thing was an accident.
“When he fell down, I thought somebody else hit him,” Schirmer said. “My friends were trying to pull me back away from the defensive end, I didn’t know the ref was right inside of me, bear hugging me.”
Schirmer claims he often hits himself on the helmet to calm himself down.
“I didn’t mean any of that to happen,” Schirmer told the Star. “I’m truly sorry about what happened to the ref.”
After the hit, trainers from both teams rushed to assist the injured official, who was knocked unconscious by the blow. He was replaced and did not return to the game.
In a statement released Sunday, Mount San Antonio College officials said after reviewing the video and talking to witnesses they found that Schirmer unintentionally struck the official.
“Mount San Antonio College will continue to complete an assessment of his conduct to determine what sanctions, if any, are appropriate for the incident. Additionally, the college is fully cooperating with investigations by other agencies,” the statement read.
College police are reportedly handling the case, but whether Schirmer will be formally charged is a question for the district attorney.
Craig Schirmer, Bernard’s father, said that a court date has been set for Sept. 26.