A referee was attacked during a match between Impact Christian Academy and Ribot High School on January 5, and the other referee said he would not take charge of Impact Christian Academy until the attacker was arrested.
Michelangelo Duggins was punched in the face after Ribot defeated Impact Christian Academy 58-41, according to a Duval School Board police report.
News4JAX reached out to the victim, who had swollen eyes and a deep cut to his head, but the law firm representing him, Pajcic and Pacic, said, “Please contact me about the January 5 incident. Thank you, there are no comments from the client at this time as everything is under investigation.”
Basketball officials say no game of Impact can be safely played until the attackers are apprehended. Gregory Bing is the Commissioner of the Southern Basketball Association.
“Authorities did not choose to (host the match) because they knew he (the attacker) was related to the influence of the Christian Academy crowd,” Bing said.
Bing continued, “It’s very rare for anyone involved in basketball to be attacked. We lost nearly 50 people after the pandemic, but this encourages everyone to continue refereeing basketball.” It’s not something you do.”
Bing believes the Impact Christian Academy is withholding information to help identify the attackers. News4JAX spoke with Randall Johnson, Executive Director of Operations at Impact Christian Academy. He disagrees with Bing’s opinion.
“Obviously, we are very sorry for what happened to that official. No umpire is anywhere to referee a match that should be threatened with assault,” Johnson said. We have provided all information and assistance at our disposal.”
The attacker is believed to have been in the game with a parent, who has a player on Impact’s team. However, no one has revealed the name.
Impact Christian Academy would like to clarify that they have no knowledge of who attacked the referee in the match.
The basketball regular season is over. If the Impact continues to the playoffs, Bing claims officials won’t be playing their game.
Duval Schools Police detectives sent an email to Benjamin Jones, dean of students at the Impact Christian Academy and director of basketball. Here is the message:
Thank you for calling me yesterday. Regarding the referee who was beaten on January 5th, we have no current information that Impact Christian Academy staff are withholding information that could be used to resolve this serious felony case. has information that will solve this case, but they are unwilling to provide it.
Additionally, there is the idea that safety at some sporting events may be compromised due to the large number of suspects of this predatory nature.
Anyone with potential information on this case should call 904-881-9809 at any time.
Duval Academy Detective
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https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2023/02/07/referee-attacked-at-high-school-basketball-game-other-referees-protest-until-attacker-arrested/ Umpire attacks high school basketball game, other umpires protest until attacker is arrested