Knoxville referee facing assault charges after knife pulled on youth football coach


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville referee was arrested after a knife was pulled on a youth football coach Saturday.

According to the report, the altercation between a referee and a head youth football coach happened at Central High School.

A school resource officer says the referee, Arnold Jay Davis III, called the game a forfeiture due to Coach Antonio Hamilton being ejected from the game. Davis believed Hamilton was causing a disturbance.

The report says when both teams were leaving the field, Hamilton and Davis began arguing. Davis claims Hamilton said he was going to kill him.

The school resource officer says he tried to split the two men up when Davis pulled out a large pocket knife from his back pocket.

Davis faces charges for aggravated assault.

Hamilton told WATE 6 On Your Side days later he never threatened Davis.

“I proudly take what’s coming to me, even if I don’t feel like it’s right for me to be banned. I’m taking it as a man. I know I was wrong at the end of the day, I know I was wrong… but in this situation, a weapon came out,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton says he wants to see his kids play football and be able to coach again. Currently he is banned from city, county and school athletic properties pending the Knoxville Police Department’s investigation.

“I didn’t threaten him or say I was going to kill him,” said Hamilton.

According to the Knox County Parks and Recreation Sports Code of Conduct, the minimum penalty for a coach ejected from a game is a week. The maximum is being unable to coach again.

Mike Donila with the Knox County Parks and Recreation department says the time a coach is banned is determined on a case by case basis.

“Safety is our key concern right now that’s and our key focus. So, we had two accusations you had one that one fella had a knife, the other accusation– all this according to the police report is that another gentleman threatened to kill another man. We take those accusations very seriously.” said Donila.

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