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02-12-04: Celina man charged with assault of official after basketball game


A Celina man was arrested Tuesday night after assaulting an official at the girls basketball game between Fort Recovery and Celina at Fort Recovery High School.
Randall Canary, 47, 127 E. Fulton St., who was a fan at the game, was handcuffed after punching referee Jonathan Paul Armstrong, 41, Union City, Ind., and charged with a first degree misdemeanor assault, according to a Mercer County Sheriff’s report. The charge carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Armstrong has not been hospitalized, but did receive medical treatment, Sheriff Jeff Grey said.
At 8:25 p.m. Fort Recovery Police Chief Maggie Hartings requested assistance at the girls’ basketball game where she thought there might be trouble, according to the report.
Several witnesses told police Armstrong was walking toward the locker room after the game when Canary approached him and made disparaging remarks about Armstrong’s officiating capability.
When Canary leaned into him, Armstrong put up his hands to restrain Canary and reached for the locker room door, witnesses said.
At that point, Canary punched Armstrong twice in the lower back rib cage area, according to the report.
Canary posted $200 bond around midnight and was released from the county jail. Sheriff Grey expects Canary will appear in municipal court Friday morning. Canary is being represented by Celina attorney Louis Schiavone.
Grey told The Daily Standard ‘there is no excuse for this kind of behavior. This was a game for kids to have fun and learn about teamwork. I can tell you there won’t be any breaks for (people like Canary). If they can’t behave, they better just stay home.”
Canary, a public works employee for the city of Celina, also may face disciplinary action at work.
Mike Sovinski, city safety service director, told the newspaper Wednesday morning that he is reviewing city policy on such offenses and then will meet with Canary.
“I anticipate there will be some type of action taken within the week,” Sovinski said.
Celina City Schools district issued a statement this morning banning Canary from attending any interscholastic athletic contests.
“The board and administration of Celina City Schools deeply regrets this incident. The district is continuing its investigation at this time. The school administration, on behalf of the board of education, bans Mr. Canary indefinitely from attending any interscholastic athletic contest in which Celina City Schools participate regardless of location and/or level of competition,” the statement said.


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The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822


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