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Woman arrested after umpire is punched at 12-year-old softball game in Laurel

Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WLBT) - An umpire is recovering Monday after she was punched in the face following a softball game.

Moments after that confrontation, a Laurel mother was arrested and charged with simple assault.

Saturday night. Kristie Moore says she was filling in, calling a 12-year-old softball game after one of her umpires got sick. She’s been calling games for 10 years.

One of the moms was allegedly cursing so badly during the game that she was asked her to leave.

Eventually the coach made the mom leave, but instead of going home, Kiara Thomas allegedly waited for Moore after the game. That’s when, Moore says, Thomas confronted her, punched her, and then fled.

She was quickly arrested.

Moore says parents are out of control and are making it harder and harder for umpires to do their jobs.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “The verbal abuse. And even now, the physical abuse now, at this point, and enough is enough. I also staff every USFA tournament in the state of Mississippi with umpires and it gets harder and harder to staff these tournaments because no one wants to listen to the verbal abuse and run the risk of what happened to me happening to them.”

Keep in mind, these umpires get paid at most $40 a game. They do the job mostly because they love the game and the kids, not for the money.

Kiara Thomas is scheduled to be in court Wednesday. Her charge is a misdemeanor and she will be banned from all recreational facilities in Laurel.

This year, a bill was introduced in the legislature that would make assaulting a referee or umpire a felony. It would be aggravated assault. That bill died on the calendar.

Kristie Moore hopes that, after this, lawmakers will take a second look.

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