Police: Thomas Murphy Lost It After Being Ejected, Slapped 17-Year-Old

BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A Little League coach was arrested and charged after things got out of hand at a New Jersey baseball game on Wednesday.

The man is accused of hitting the 17-year-old umpire, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

Players from the revered Berkeley Little League were back on the field Friday while parents were still shaken up by the arrest of a well-respected coach.

“It is disappointing and it is a shock,” parent Tammy Greiss said.

Thomas Murphy was coaching the Mets. The players in the game were all 10 to 12 years old.

Police said Murphy was arguing about a call made by the teen umpire. When that umpire ejected him from the game Murphy slapped him on the ear, police said.

“One needs to be careful that we do all the right things because we’re still moms and dads and these kids look up to us,” parent Al Aires said.

Murphy, who could not be reached for comment at his home Friday night, was arrested and charged with simple assault and assault at a sporting event. The Little League board has suspended him indefinitely and banned him from all league activities until he can appear for a formal hearing.

“The coach had absolutely no excuse for what he did,” Berkeley Little League president Bob Everett said.

Everett said Murphy, who is also a parent, has coached for several years.

“He certainly has been a good man. It takes somebody special to step up and want to volunteer and coach. And he made a terrible, terrible mistake here and, unfortunately, he’s going to be held accountable,” Everett said.

“I think he should let him go. I know it’s his first time, but I think they should set the example that they’re not going to tolerate that behavior,” Greiss said.

Parents and league leaders agreed that what happens on the field is not just about baseball; it’s about setting good examples in the game of life.

The league said it will address the incident Saturday at a meeting that’s mandatory for all its coaches and managers.

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