Jeff Shand, Burnsville hoops league commish, sucker punched during 6th grade match

Categories: Civil Society

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Photo: Sugar Pond/Flickr
As an adult, how do face a basketball-playing, sixth-grade kid with any kind of credibility or respect after you assault a game official because you didn't like the outcome of his match? In fact, how do you not look like a complete jackass? We're wondering, because that's exactly the situation in which some out-of-control family members of a Burnsville boy find themselves today.

Jeff Shand, who is the commissioner of the Burnsville boys' in-house basketball league, was trying to calm down a parent in a boy's family after his team lost a game -- he had marched on to the court to confront the referee, WCCO reported. Shand tried to calm him down, then threatened to call the cops as the verbal buse escalated, witness Joel Van Zomeren told the station. Then bedlam ensued:

"He threatened 911 and said 'I will call 911' and she still didn't like that answer. He asked her to please leave and the phone got hit out of his hand," said Van Zomeren.

Just as quickly as that happened, Van Zomeren said his colleague was sucker punched.

"As one male threw a basketball at his head, the other one punched him and knocked him down," said Van Zomeren.

"Then it became kind of a riot or a melee and we had people trying to intervene and it just was an out of control situation," said Burnsville Police Sgt. Jeff Witte.

News reports later said that a 48-year-old Minneapolis man started the brawl. He was tackled by bystanders until police arrived, and was arrested and later released. Police may charge him with 5th-degree assault and interfering with a 911 call.

Makes you wonder who the real losers are here, the innocent kid and his team, or the grownups who left Shand with some broken teeth and trip to the ER.


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