Parent grabs 11-year-old football player's helmet, slams him to ground during game, deputies say

JOHNSTON COUNTY, North Carolina -- A 40-year-old man has been charged after deputies in Johnston County said he assaulted an 11-year-old boy during a football game.

The incident happened Saturday during a parks and recreation youth sponsored game.

The day, which was supposed to be filled with good old-fashioned football mixed with some family fun, turned violent.

"It's about to wrap up, and I see a man across the way, he ... I could tell he was mad. He's frustrated," explained coach Chris Jackson, whose son also plays on the team. "So, he's on the ... sideline, so by the time he comes down, I see he's in a rage, just like clockwork ... He grabs my player by the helmet, swings him down and stuff like that."

Witness said 40-year-old Robert Eugene Holloman grabbed the boy by his face mask and jersey and then slammed him to the ground.

Numerous calls flooded a 911 dispatcher, asking them to help restore order.

"You need to get your deputy some backup out here because we got some unruly parents trying to cause some problems at a little league football game and they need to go," one caller said.

A school resource officer was able to de-escalate the situation until deputies with the Johnston County Sheriff's Office arrived and removed Holloman from the field.

The man was later charged with assault on a minor and disorderly conduct.

Some parents said the incident stemmed from "dirty plays."

"We hit hard, we run hard ... if that's the style that instigates the other team to doing what they do, then so be it," said Jackson. "And guess what, it's going to happen like that every game we play because that's how we run it."

After the incident, Selma Town Manager Elton Daniels released the following statement:

Our recreation department sponsors a wide range of youth, adult, and senior athletic programs throughout the year. As such, safety of participants and spectators is always our number one priority. According to staff, over the weekend an alleged altercation occurred involving an adult spectator and a youth football player (on the field). Staff present did not see the altercation. The adult involved was escorted off the premises (SSS High School) by law enforcement ... As a safety precaution, law enforcement is always present at our town sponsored sporting events (prior to events starting and until our last employee leaves). Thankfully, the SRO present at this event was able to deescalate the situation. That said, the Town of Selma will continue to be proactive regarding the safety of all."
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