One person was arrested after a fight broke out between two semi-pro football teams Saturday on the former Dana College football field.
According to a Blair police report, officers were dispatched to the field at approximately 6:38 p.m. for a fight in progress involving 20 to 30 players.
When officers arrived, a few players in green jerseys — the Blair Rough Riders — were walking away from the stadium and said the fight was over.
Officers learned one person — a member of the Nebraska Bobkats — had been struck in the back of the head, causing a gash and bleeding.
Witnesses, including players, coaches and fans, identified the suspect as Tylor R. Spitzer, who plays for the Rough Riders. A witness offered a video which showed the fight and Spitzer on the sideline with his helmet in hand. As a scuffle occurs, Spitzer walks up and swings his helmet into the group, causing the gash on the victim's head.
The Bobkat player claimed one of his linemen was walking back to the huddle when a Rough Rider player tried to trip him. The victim shoved the other player, telling him to calm down, before the other player tackled him. During the scuffle, the victim said his helmet came off and he was stuck in the head by something.
While interviewing the victim at the hospital, Washington County Dispatch advised officers a vehicle was getting harassed by another vehicle following the incident at the football field. Officers met with the victim vehicle at a gas station on Kellie Drive.
That person was identified as Spitzer. He was transported to the emergency room for a head injury. When he was released, he was arrested for second-degree assault.
Spitzer claimed while the main fight was happening, he ran to his girlfriend and kids and told them to leave. At one point, Spitzer told officers he was on the sideline with his helmet in hand when the fight happened. He said he got pushed causing his helmet to swing and hit another player in the back of the head.
Spitzer said he jumped into another fight, but couldn't remember much since he blacked out. When he came to, he said he was “getting jumped” by four to six guys from the Nebraska Bobkats.
The officers noted Spitzer had bruising on his face and abrasions to his ribs.
Blair Rough Riders co-founder Nathan Thorington said there wasn't too much time left in the game when a shoving match started and escalated.
"Attitudes just got way too out of hand," Thorington said.
Thorington said the Blair team's response to the fighting was to call the game off at that point, though the opposing team was not in complete agreement about that. The Rough Riders, in response, went to the locker room.
The Roughriders' next home game is 5 p.m. July 18 and Thorington made sure to explain that it was against a different team. He hopes for a better outcome.