Judge dismisses disorderly conduct charge against volunteer coach

CLARKDALE – Clarkdale Magistrate Ronald Ramsey dismissed the misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against a Big Park School parent-volunteer assistant basketball coach March 8.

With a forgoing joint motion to dismiss and release, and with good cause appearing in court, the magistrate accepted the agreement reached by the prosecution and defense.

It was ordered that the charges be dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be re-filed.

The assistant coach entered a not guilty plea before Clarkdale Magistrate Ronald Ramsey Jan. 20, 2016.

Big Park School Principal Deborah A. Jones said the man “has not been an assistant or coach in the district since the incident referenced. Even at that time, I believe he was a ‘parent volunteer’ and not a coach.”

According to a police report, the coach was ejected from the Clarkdale-Jerome gymnasium and subsequently banned from the school campus following an incident during a December 2015 basketball game between Big Park and Clarkdale-Jerome schools.

According to a 12-page report by the Clarkdale Police Department, the assistant coach was assessed two technical fouls during the game and subsequently ordered to leave the gymnasium. According to the police report, the coach then “took an aggressive posture and began walking toward (the referee)” before Big Park’s head coach intervened and told him to follow the referee’s directive to leave the gymnasium.

The police report continues that one day later, while the same referee was calling another game at Clarkdale-Jerome, he noticed the coach had re-entered the gymnasium with the Big Park team. He called a timeout and the coach was informed that he was not allowed in the gymnasium.

Citing interviews with 10 different witnesses - both adult and juveniles attending the game - before leaving the gymnasium, the coach gave the referee a “middle finger gesture” and said, “You and me after the game outside,” according to the police report.

According to Clarkdale Police Sgt. Nicole Florisi, “As a result of the investigation, the assistant basketball coach from Big Park Community School ... was charged with one count of disorderly conduct.”

The Verde Independent typically does not name suspects charged with misdemeanor offenses.

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