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Football game ends after altercation

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By Mike Capshaw, Staff Writer

One says he did. He says he didn't, and he has the video to prove it.

An altercation at a semi-professional football game on Saturday has resulted in a head coach's resignation and a football team changing names.

It may even lead to an arrest.

Late in the first half of the Levy County Raiders' game against the Orlando Phantoms in Williston, Raiders coach Ron Fisher was ejected after receiving a second unsportsmanlike penalty for arguing with officials. The crew chief, Gary Merlino, alleged he then was "shoved" by Fisher. At the urging of United Football Federation officials, Merlino planned to press charges with the Williston Police Department on Tuesday.

In Florida, battery of a sports official could be filed as a third degree felony, according to state statute 784.081. The offense is reclassified, or enhanced, when it  involves a sports official. If a complaint is filed by Merlino, the exact charge will be at the state attorney general's discretion.

As with most altercations, there are two sides to what unfolded on Saturday night at the Williston Youth Athletic Association Field.


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