Ohio football referees trapped in locker room as door blocked with vending machine; charges filed

Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Keith Dalton and his crew of football referees say they were recently officiating a high school game, after which they found themselves locked inside a locker room.

Dalton, a high school referee with the Central Ohio Football Association, believes they were locked in over a controversial call made during the Sept. 10 game between Grove City High School and Central Crossing High School. After the call was made, he said, an assistant coach for Grove City came onto the field and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

After the game ended, Dalton said, he and his crew were inside the locker room being evaluated on their performance when the door was barricaded from the outside with a vending machine.

“And we had to push on the door, three of us, to at least get the door wedged so we can get out,” said Dalton. “We as a group have now filed charges against Grove City.”

In response to the allegations, the South-Western City School District, under which Grove City falls, sent WCMH a statement, saying in part: “We continue to investigate this incident and have engaged the Grove City Police Department in the investigation to determine who was responsible for this behavior. Conduct of this nature has no place in our school community.”

Dalton said both Grove City High School’s principal and head coach have issued an apology. He also said the assistant coach who berated them was suspended for a game.

But he wants to see more done, especially when it comes to the safety his crew.

“That’s just all they can do. What we’re doing is protecting the officials and saying that’s just crossing the line,” said Dalton.

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