KISSIMMEE, Fla. - A Florida parent was arrested Wednesday for allegedly punching an umpire during a baseball game at Liberty High School in Kissimmee, deputies said.
Video released by the Osceola County Sheriff's Office appears to show Jorge Aponte Gonzalez walking up to the umpire, who was standing near a gate, and knocking him to the ground.
Between innings, umpire Ray Mora walked to a gate as he awaited his replacement. As his back was turned, Gonzalez left the stands and punched the 63-year-old Army veteran, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office said during a press conference.
"That individual was not even facing me," Mora told FOX 35 News. "At least the people who I faced when I was in combat, I saw them. I saw them in the distance. I knew they were coming. I was not even prepared."
Mora said he has noticed the climate getting worse and believes the violence needs to stop.
"It needs to stop because I just got hit," Mora said. "Maybe tomorrow somebody gets killed, then what?"
"He does this because he has passion for baseball, and he likes to give back to his community and he loves to dedicate his time to baseball and to kids," Sheriff Marcos Lopez said of Mora during a news conference on Wednesday.
in the video, several people on the field can be seen running to Mora's side as others attempt to usher Gonzalez away from the field.
During his arrest, Gonzalez said he punched the umpire because he was "defending his kid," deputies said. Deputies said the player was being disruptive and had a verbal exchange with the umpire leading up to the incident.
Gonzalez is facing a felony battery charge.