CLARKDALE – A volunteer baseball coach with the Mayer Unified School District was arrested Feb. 20 on allegations of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and threats resulting from an incident at the Clarkdale-Jerome School during an after-hours baseball game between Clarkdale-Jerome and Mayer Elementary, according to a Clarkdale police report.
According to Sgt. Nicole Florisi, Clarkdale Police Department, Robert Warburton, 45, was arrested after witnesses at the baseball game reported he was “cussing and yelling in front of the children playing baseball and their families. Warburton additionally engaged in unwanted behavior with the umpire and was subsequently ejected from the game.”
Warburton was working as the third-base coach during the game, Florisi said.
“After Warburton left the field, he confronted and threatened to assault a spectator while in the parking lot,” said Sgt. Florisi. “Warburton left the school after this confrontation. The victim relayed to officers that Warburton appeared aggressive and intoxicated. During the investigation, officers obtained corroborating information regarding Warburton’s behavior from other parties present at the game.”
According to police reports, a responding officer spoke to some of the parents from Mayer who were "very upset with their coach’s behavior." The parents interviewed stated that Warburton's behavior was extremely unprofessional and that he did not represent Mayer. Two other Mayer coaches also said Warburton's behavior did not represent the team or the town of Mayer and apologized for the incident. Warburton’s behavior during the game was also witnessed by an off-duty Clarkdale police officer who was coaching the Clarkdale-Jerome team.
In addition, Sgt. Florisi said, “Officers at the scene confirmed that Warburton had an odor of intoxicating beverage emanating from his person.”
The sergeant said, “Warburton continued to be disorderly and aggressive and did not comply with police requests to curtail his actions. Officers took Warburton into custody and he was booked into the Yavapai County Jail on disorderly conduct and threats.”
Dean Slaga, the superintendent of the Mayer Unified School District, Wednesday confirmed that Warburton was a volunteer baseball coach with the school district.
"He had gone through the volunteer process, had been finger-printed, and was a volunteer coach for us. This incident was unfortunate, and he is no longer in that position with us,” said Slaga.
Danny Brown, superintendent at the K-8 Clarkdale-Jerome School, said, “Given the situation, from what I learned, I felt the Clarkdale Police Department handled this unfortunate incident appropriately. Our fans showed great sportsmanship during the game and we are always appreciative of their continued positive support of our athletes and our athletic program.”