Suspects charged with assaulting a YMCA referee talk from jail

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MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - It was supposed to be a fun competition, but instead police say a youth basketball game in Richmond got out of hand. And they say a coach and two other people assaulted a referee.

Police arrested the coach along with his girlfriend and that woman's sister over the weekend.

"It was supposed to be a basketball game, not a wrestling match," said Tiffany Sparks, one of the assault suspects from the Madison County Detention Center.

With 7 to 8-year-olds on the court at the YMCA, state police say Joshua Mills, 30, was coaching his son's basketball game when he was ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"He eventually got two technicals and ended up having to leave," said Sparks.

YMCA officials say, "Numerous requests were made asking the individual to leave the building." Police say the referee, Sgt. Harvey Baxter who happens to be an undercover state trooper, identified himself, telling Mills to leave or he'd be charged with trespassing. Then it continued outside where police say both Tiffany Sparks, 21, who is the coach's girlfriend and her sister, Amanda Estep, 28, got involved.

"I didn't see Josh hit the ref at all, but they were rolling around in the bushes," said Sparks.

That's when the sisters say things got out of hand, and they too were charged in the incident.

"I nudged him a little bit not like real forcibly or nothing you know," said Spark. "I'm just like, 'Hey, you guys stop it please you know.'"

"I was telling him to get off of him. 'You guys stop. You can't be doing this around all these kids.' It's at the YMCA. It's full of kids, and that is no way to act," said Amanda Estep, another one of the assault suspects.

Police tell us Sgt. Baxter suffered minor injuries. But the two sisters say they didn't injure the man and think they should not be in jail.

"I've never been arrested in my life, never been in trouble," said Sparks.

"I'm stuck in here over something that got blew way out of proportion," said Estep. "And I'm stuck. I don't know what to do."

All three were charged with assaulting a sports official, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. Mills and Sparks were also charged with third degree assault of a police officer, which is a felony charge.

Mills declined our request for an interview from jail.

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