Ohio legislation would make assaulting referees a crime

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Pending legislation would make assaulting Ohio referees while they do their jobs a crime.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would make such attacks a first-degree misdemeanor with an automatic fine of $1,500 and 40 hours of community service. The bill also says a second conviction could lead to a felony charge.

Legislation sponsor Rep. Bill Roemer is a Republican from Richfield in northeastern Ohio and a longtime youth baseball coach. Roemer says more than two of every three sports officials quit during their first three years because of spectator abuse.

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