‘I honestly thought he died’: Las Vegas referee attacked after basketball game

LAS VEGAS — A man who was working as a referee for a basketball game in a Las Vegas community center is in the hospital after he was brutally attacked following a game.

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Shawn Rowe told KVVU that he had worked a high school recreation league game at the Doolittle Community Center on May 17, and during the game, one of the coaches was unhappy with his calls. Knowing the coach was upset, recreation center employees kept the two apart as they left the gym.

Rowe left the building with his friend, Perry Woodward, who also works as a referee at the recreation center. Rowe told KVVU that Woodward planned to stand by to make sure that he got out of the parking lot safely, and that Woodward had not been working the game involving the upset coach.

Once out in the parking lot, the coach, his wife and teenage son are accused of getting into Rowe’s face, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Woodward allegedly stepped in to defend Rowe, and was punched in the back of the head and then the face before he was knocked out cold, according to the newspaper.

“It was two guys taking a swing at Perry and they connect with him,” Rowe told KVVU. “Then I hear a loud thump against the concrete. It felt like everything stopped. Then I looked at Perry, and I honestly thought he died.”

Woodward woke up in a hospital. He had a concussion, bleeding in the brain, stitches on his chin and forehead, an ankle fracture and five fractured teeth, the Las Vegas Sun reported. Woodward told the paper that the coach’s wife was the first aggressor, followed by the father and son who each hit him.

One person was arrested, and two others were cited, officials told KVVU.

Jose Martinez said his wife was assaulted by a referee the night of the incident. He will share his side of the story on Thursday night’s KVVU newscast.

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