JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (KPIX 5) — A coach for the San Jose Sabercats arena football team is facing battery charges resulting from an altercation after a game in Florida over the weekend.
Police said the fight, involving Sabercats defensive coordinator Cedric Walker and Jacksonville Sharks assistant general manager Tim Johnson, occurred after San Jose won Saturday’s game by a score of 57-36.
According to police reports, Sabercats team officials confronted Jacksonville cheerleaders for being on the field during game play. The confrontation in a hallway near the locker rooms drew a crowd, and at some point, Walker entered.
Witnesses told KPIX 5 that Walker said to Johnson, “Boy, don’t get in my face.”
Johnson reportedly replied, “Boy, you better get your guys back in the locker room.”
Witnesses said Walker, who is 6 feet tall and 245 pounds, became violently upset and jumped over people to shove Johnson against the wall and later punch him in the face. Johnson, 68, hit the back of his head against the wall, blacked out and suffered a concussion.
According to the police report, Walker told investigators Johnson started it. “He did in fact get into an argument with Mr. Johnson and that he called him ‘a boy.’ He warned Mr. Johnson not to call him ‘a boy,’ when Mr. Johnson called him ‘a boy’ again. He became enraged and chased Mr. Johnson down the hallway. As he caught him he admitted to striking him once,” the report stated.
Walker has been charged with battery of a person 65 or older, which is a felony. He was released from the Duval County, Florida jail late Sunday, on the condition he shows up at his next court appearance.
A statement from the San Jose Sabercats called the incident “unfortunate” and that the altercation resulted from “a verbal confrontation involving alleged racial epithets” directed towards Sabercats coaches from a Sharks front office official. The statement went on to say the team would have no further comment as police investigate.
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