Parents charged after youth baseball brawl

8:42 PM, Jul 10, 2011   |    comments
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There are so many versions of what happened, Castle Rock police say it's hard to tell who actually started the fight.
In Castle Rock 911 dispatch recordings from June 26 obtained by 9Wants to Know, Castle Rock's contracted town prosecutor Christy Ausmus can be heard making accusations against Andrew Lee Carlson, a parent who attended the tournament.
"A grown man just attacked my son from behind," Ausmus told the 911 dispatcher.

"Okay, we're getting multiple, multiple calls on this ma'am," the dispatcher replied. "We're getting help on the way but just hang on for me, okay?"

Other calls came in at the same time, describing how parents were throwing punches at each other.

"This is like a hand-to-hand fight," a male caller said.

"They're still fighting out here," Ausmus can be heard saying in the recording. "These people are crazy."

"It is crazy," said one of the charged parents Andrew Carlson in an interview with 9Wants to Know. "It's a sad day for youth baseball."

Carlson and his wife Shannon Carlson are facing charges of third degree assault and disorderly conduct, along with Ausmus.

9Wants to Know reviewed Castle Rock police reports from June 26. Complaints from parents about a "bad call" turned into an all-out brawl. The report said, at one point, "about six people were pushing and shoving."

The fight happened at a pavilion during a game between the Colorado Bandits and the Loveland Bambinos. Carlson's wife and son came to the pavilion looking for a director to dispute a call and Ausmus and her son were volunteering at the tournament in the pavilion. Both families had 12-year-old sons playing at the time who were unaware of the fight in the pavilion.

"I hit [Carlson] as hard as I could, as many times as I could, to get him off my kid," Ausmus said. "I think about it everyday."

Ausmus says Carlson attacked her son from behind as he was involved in a verbal dispute with Carlson's son. She says Carlson put her son in a choke hold and punched him repeatedly. While the boy, 16, was not hospitalized immediately after the incident, Ausmus said his injuries grew worse over the next few days. She said he was eventually diagnosed with a concussion.

"He viciously attacked my son," Ausmus said. "He suffers constant headaches still from the concussion."

Carlson says he was only defending his son, 15, who was physically assaulted by Ausmus' child.

"This kid is assaulting my son and I pulled him off," Carlson said. "Then this lady just started attacking me. She attacked me and started punching me three or four times in the face. Then she went after my wife, punched her, pushed her over a bench."

Officers ended up charging all three parents with third degree assault and disorderly conduct.

9Wants to Know has learned this is Carlson's ninth assault charge in 12 years.

Ausmus is facing charges in the same town where she works as a contracted prosecutor.

"They weren't acting appropriately," said Lt. Tim Gorman of the Castle Rock Police Department. "And in a situation like this where there are multiple people, it's sometimes hard to distinguish what actually occurred."

Lt. Gorman says young people pay the price for their parents' bad behavior. He hopes this will be a wake-up call for other parents.

"It's really unfortunate for the kids that play," Gorman said. "You're taking the whole fun part of it out."

None of the parents involved were seriously hurt. Neither of the teenagers involved are facing criminal charges. Police say their parents are the ones who broke the law.

This incident occurred during a game for 12-year-olds during a weekend youth baseball tournament. Parents said two coaches were so angry at calls made by the umpire, they were thrown out of the game before the fight broke out.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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