A Morgan County man has been arrested and charged with assault after he allegedly attacked a Monticello coach after a 7-8-year-old youth league recreation football game on Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Phillip Ray Stovall, Jr., 31, Madison was arrested at the Morgan County Public Safety Center after he turned himself in to investigators at 8:30 p.m., approximately an hour after multiple officers were dispatched to the football field at Morgan County High School on College Drive regarding a fight on the football field at the conclusion of a recreation league game between 7-8-year-old children from Morgan County versus the same aged group from Monticello.
According to Madison Police Department reports, Stovall allegedly got “nose to nose” with a Monticello coach after calling him derogatory names. The coach, reports state, allegedly told Stovall to “watch his mouth because there were children present.”
Reports allege that Stovall then struck the coach on the chest with both hands. Stovall and the coach were separated but, reports state, “Stovall had to be physically restrained from attacking (the coach) again.”
The catalyst for the attack allegedly began at the game’s halftime mark when a woman from Morgan County with four children and a woman from Jasper County with one child were all playing near the end zone.
Reports state that the children did not know each other and each family was supporting opposite teams. The Jasper County woman’s child picked up a football, reports state, and the Morgan County woman’s children confronted the Jasper County child. Words were exchanged between the children, reports state, and the Jasper County woman alleged that one of the Morgan County children shoved her child. The woman said she confronted the Morgan County child and “told him not to put his hands on her son.”
“After this brief exchange, all parties remained, watching the last two quarters of the football game without incident,” the report says.
However, after the game, the Morgan County mother allegedly confronted the Jasper County mother and asked her if she had “cussed at her (expletive) child.” The allegation caused a second confrontation that drew a crowd. The Monticello coach approached the women and began to separate them to prevent a physical confrontation, reports state.
While the coach was trying to separate the mothers, Stovall allegedly approached the coach and called him “a (expletive, expletive).”
Stovall’s attorney, Stephen Morris of the Morris Law Firm, said Monday that he would defend Stovall and that the incident was either “self defense or in defense of others.”
“He was defending a woman. The guy from Jasper County got in his face and (Stovall) just pushed him off,” Morris said.
Reports state that the events after the game were all captured on video and have been saved as evidence. After Stovall met with authorities at the Morgan Count Detention Center, he “fully denied physically touching anyone.”
Stovall, Morris said, was initially placed on a parole violation hold but that hold has been dropped. “They looked at it and realized this was not a serious incident,” Morris said.
A preset bond for Stovall’s release from the Morgan County Detention Center was set for $1,250.