Fight Follows Football Encounter

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A man has been charged with disorderly conduct following a fight which occurred after a football game at Cannon County High School last Thursday.

Jeffrey L. Smith, 148 Pin Oak Dr., Woodbury, was charged by Woodbury Patrolman John Fesmire following an investigation of the incident.

Smith allegedly attacked one of the referees, Gerald Tidwell, in the parking lot of the high school following a JR Lions game. The reason for the attack was not related to the game itself.

Patrolman Fesmire was dispatched to the lower parking lot of CCHS on Sept. 22 in reference to a fight in which someone was injured and on the ground. Upon arrival he observed a large crowd gathered around a man on the ground who was being tended to by EMS. Patrolman Chris Brown arrived at the scene at the same time as Patrolman Fesmire.

A witness told Patrolman Fesmire that she saw the injured man (later identified as Smith) sneak up on the referee (later identified as Tidwell) and strike him. She said the fight then went to the ground.

Another witness told Patrolman Fesmire he did not see the beginning of the fight, but did hear two men arguing. He stated once Smith was on the ground, Tidwell mounted him and struck him four times in the head while Smith was attempting to protect himself. The witness said another referee pulled Tidwell off Smith.

Patrolman Brown interviewed another witness who said that Tidwell told him that he had defended himself after Smith attacked him but that he didn't remember anything else.

Tidwell stated that he was sitting in his car changing clothes when Smith "sucker punched" him. Tidwell said he began pushing and punching to get Smith off him.

Amother witness told Patrolman Fesmire he had his head in the driver's window of the car when he heard Smith tell Tidwell, "I've got a score to settle with you" and then he felt the car shake. The witness said he saw Smith hit Tidwell, who then pushed Smith back. The witness said both men fell to the ground, with Tidwell falling on top.

On Sept. 24, Patrolman Fesmire spoke with Tidwell, and he said he did not wish to pursue charges against Smith for assault. Patrolman Fesmire then spoke with Smith. In his statement, Smith expressed regret for his actions and took responsibility for what had transpired.

Smith was issued a citation for disorderly conduct. Initial court date is Nov. 15.
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