Referee battered by lacrosse coach, leads to assault charge

ORILLIA — Provincial police say they’ve charged a coach with assault after a lacrosse referee was allegedly assaulted in the West Orillia Sports Complex on Friday, June 14.

Investigators say they were called to answer the report of the assault around 10 p.m., and found the male referee bleeding as a result of an alleged physical fight.

The incident took place at Rotary Place, a state-of-the-art twin-pad arena that features two NHL-sized ice rinks, during a game between two out-of-town midget teams competing in the Boyd Balkwill Memorial Tournament.

A Facebook post by the OLOA says, “to clarify, the referee was cornered in a hallway when he was beaten. This did not occur in front of an audience.”

An additional comment says, “the man who was assaulted wasn’t even reffing the game in question. He was attempting to (defuse) an irate coach and the coach felt the need to assault him.”

Dwayne Palomaki, 47, who was charged with the assault, was acting as the trainer for the Innisfil midget team during the game in question.

He was given a game misconduct for verbally berating the on-floor officials and was removed from the game. Shortly thereafter, Gord Brown, the referee in chief, went to ensure the Palomaki had left the building. It’s not clear how people became alerted to the incident but Brown was found in the hallway, bloodied, with facial trauma and requiring hospitalization.

Palomaki, has been charged with assault causing bodily harm and he is scheduled to appear in court on July 23.

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