Watching his son being slammed into a wrestling mat was more than one North Carolina parent could bear.
As a result, Barry Lee Jones, of Harrisburg, was arrested Jan. 18 and charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct, according to WGHP.
Jones was in the stands during a wrestling match between Hickory Ridge School, the school his son attends, and Southeast Guilford High School.
During the match, the Southeast Guilford wrestler slammed Jones’ son into the mat in what the expert overseeing the match appeared to indicate, through hand signs, was an illegal move, according to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, WGHP reported.
As the two wrestlers prepared to continue their match, Jones streaked from the stands and tackled the Southeast Guilford High School wrestler, before eventually he was pulled off of the student.
?What?? NC Parent tackles Wrestler! pic.twitter.com/uNAAeMMo0J
— Wrestling Coach™️ (@wrestlingadvice) January 20, 2020
Jones was taken to the Cabarrus County Jail and released on a $1,000 bail.
“It’s very unfortunate, and it just shows a society that I feel sometimes we’re just losing all decorum,” Sharon Contreras, the superintendent of Schools for Guilford County, told WGHP.
“I want to say that the parents from that high school wrote us a lovely letter saying they were equally appalled. It’s not who they are as a community. And I certainly apologize to the students at both high schools who experienced that, particularly the student who was attacked.”
The incident caused a stir on Twitter.
Kid was ok after that illegal slam and the ref prob would have given him every advantage to win the match. His Dad screwed up in so many ways. Keep your cool fellow wrestling parents.
— James McGowan (@jamsmcgowan) January 20, 2020
ADULTS BEHAVING BADLY….at their children’s sporting events!!
A high school wrestling match in Kannapolis over the weekend going viral after witnesses say a parent charged the mat and tackled a student that was wrestling his son. Thoughts? #WakeUpCLT pic.twitter.com/b8H0CrRsCx
— Rachel Lundberg (@RachelLLundberg) January 20, 2020
The Southeast Guilford High School wrestling team shared a letter from Hickory Ridge wrestling team parents.
“We want you to know that we experienced the same nightmare WITH you yesterday. We are in shock, horror and disbelief by the inconceivable action of one parent on a wrestler. We don’t understand it nor would we ever condone it,” the letter said.
“Though our parents review the HRHS code of conduct in pre-season mandatory parent meetings, this parent chose to disregard the code and, for that, we are ashamed. His action does not reflect the beliefs of the parents or the HRHS wrestling program. To the parents of the wrestler who was tackled — we wholeheartedly apologize,” the letter said.
But the tone of the coverage of the North Carolina incident showed how unusual this incident of parental misbehavior was.
The reaction from school officials showed the incident was particularly concerning to all involved.
Leigh Hebbard, Guilford County Schools director of athletics, said in a statement that the school was “troubled to see the assault of one of our student-athletes, reportedly by a parent of an opposing team member.
“However,” the statement continued, “we greatly appreciate the apology and words of support from the staff and families of the Hickory Ridge Wrestling team who have reached out to us and who share our concerns.”
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