Death threat made to Seattle middle school soccer referee

by: John Knicely Updated:

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SEATTLE, Wash. —

A fan’s anger over a game-winning penalty kick led to a death threat against the referees at a middle school girls’ soccer game.  Police said it happened Saturday at Memorial Stadium in a game between two Seattle middle schools.

One referee called the first half of the game and was sitting in the stands for the second half.  The fan, whom he believed to be a father of a player, started cordially talking to him about some calls.  A different referee then made a call that led to a game-winning penalty kick, and the fan got very angry. 

Police said he started yelling slurs at the refs and said he was going to kill them.  The ref waited until he got home and then called police.  The ref said he didn’t know the fan so police don’t have a suspect. 

Seattle police wouldn’t tell KIRO 7 which two middle schools were involved in the game.  A  Seattle School District representative said they weren’t aware of the incident. 

KIRO 7 asked police at what point a yelling, upset parent becomes a criminal. 

“Any time you threaten bodily harm,” said detective Mark Jamieson.  “Or take it even a step further, ‘I will kill you.’” 

KIRO 7 spoke with two Seattle moms who have kids in youth soccer. 

“That's something you'd expect at a Seahawks game and you'd be surprised,” said Josie Ghan.  “But at a middle school game, that's awful.” 

“It's upsetting,” said Rochelle Lucero.  “It's probably stressful on the kids as well, makes the game a little less fun.” 

And the story has drawn heated comments on the KIRO 7 Facebook page

Seattle Police hope anyone who witnessed the threat will come forward.