Dad Threatens Ump, Goes to Jail

Softball dad swears at referee and spits on police

One of the goals of youth sports programs is to teach kids good sportsmanship. But all too often, the parents need to be reprimanded on their behavior more than their children do. Perhaps more moms and dads would learn to stop coaching from the bleachers and yelling at referees if they knew it would earn them jail time.

Michael Beck, 47, was upset with a call made at his daughter's July softball game and began cursing and threatening the umpire. The Hanover Park dad got so out of hand that the DuPage County police were called. When the sheriff's deputy arrived at the field near Downers Grove, Beck spit at the officer. Twice.

Beck was initially charged with aggravated battery (a felony), which carries a possible 7-year prison sentence. He pled guilty to reduced charges of battery and assault (a misdemeanor).

The aggressive father was sentenced to five nights in jail. Not five 24-hour periods, five literal evenings. Beck will be released to work during the day.

Beck is also placed on two years' probation, must serve 40 hours of community service, and send letters of apology to both the umpire and the deputy.

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