Two city workers on leave for brawl at youth baseball game
A pair of Denver municipal employees have been benched for their alleged involvement in an ugly, bench-clearing brawl at a youth baseball game, officials said.
The two Denver Public Works employees were placed on investigatory leave Thursday in connection with Saturday’s all-out melee in Lakewood during a youth baseball game involving 7-year-old kids that started after a 13-year-old umpire issued a warning to both sides for foul language.
A spokeswoman for the city Human Resources Department confirmed the suspensions to the Denver Post, but declined to identify the employees, citing an active police investigation into the brawl involving about 20 coaches and parents at Westgate Elementary School.
Lakewood police said five people were cited for disorderly conduct for their actions during the fight, which left one man seriously hurt with facial and back injuries, as well as five broken ribs, according to police records cited by the Denver Post.
KCNC identified one of the Denver city employees as David Williams, who had been cited for disorderly conduct after the brawl. Williams and a second employee will be paid as an investigation continues into their alleged involvement, KDVR reports.
The teen behind the plate during Saturday’s game said the wild skirmish broke out after he warned both sides against using foul language. But ump Josh Cordova said both coaches had been arguing even before that request for civility.
“The coaches were getting into my face,” Cordova told KUSA. “Before I knew it, they asked me to change the call.”
A dispute over whether to kick some parents out of the stands then set off the brawl, Cordova said.
“It was very chaotic and I was scared not only for me, but the 7-year-olds who happened to be on the field at the time,” he said. “I thought maybe by issuing a warning, everyone would just chill, take a step back and realize how stupid they were acting … but [I] guess not.”
The Bear Creek Junior Sports Association said in a statement Wednesday that it canceled this season’s remaining games for both teams and will permanently ban parents who took part in the fight.
Lakewood police spokesman John Romero told The Post on Thursday that investigators were still working to identify other people in the video, particularly a man wearing a white shirt and teal shorts who could face assault charges for sucker-punching another man standing near a fence, the cringe-worthy footage shows.
“As you can see watching that video, there are five people we’ve cited so far, but plenty more who were fighting,” Romero said. “We’re still trying to identify them and we do have some great intel right now, so we do expect more citations to be given out.”
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