Who is Emmanuel Duron? Texas high school football player body-slams referee after getting ejected from game
The 18-year-old was charged with Class A assault after a viral video showed him body-slamming an official who had ordered his ejection from a game between Edinburg High and PSJA High
EDINBURG, TEXAS: Emmanuel Duron, a Texas high school football player who attacked a referee on Thursday, December 3, after running into the field during a game has been charged with assault, Hidalgo County jail records show.
The 18-year-old was charged with a Class A assault around 11 am on Friday, December 4, morning during an arraignment at the Edinburg Municipal Court after a viral video showed him body-slamming an official who had ordered his ejection from a game between Edinburg High and PSJA High at Richard R Flores Stadium in Edinburg.
The referee in question is Fred Gracia, who ejected Duron from the game after drawing flags for roughing the passer after the play was dead and for exchanging words with the official. The 225-pound defensive lineman initially walked off the field with an Edinburg High coach, but then ran back onto the field and charged at the 59-year-old referee.
The official, who was a 27-year veteran referee with the Texas Association of Sports Officials, was blindsided and did not anticipate getting bodyslammed by Duron with a force that sent Gracia to the turf from which he took quite some minutes to regain composure and get back on his feet. He was examined on-site for concussion symptoms and a shoulder injury. He was able to leave the field on his own but did not return to the game after the hit.
Duron, on the other hand, was escorted from the stadium by police. His team eventually won the game but was later removed from the playoffs due to the incident. “The district has decided to remove the Edinburg High School football team from the playoffs after an unexpected incident involving a student that occurred during a football game on December 3, 2020,” the Edinburg CISD said in a statement, according to CBS 4 in Texas.
“We extend a sincere apology to the referee and his family. On behalf of the Edinburg CISD Board of Trustees and administration, we apologize to the athletes, staff and our school community. We will take the appropriate disciplinary action once we understand the facts and circumstances underlining this incident. The district takes these matters very seriously; however, we cannot comment further on a pending investigation.”
The Texas Association of Sports Officials also released a statement condemning Duron's actions. "On the evening of December 3, 2020, another vicious and deliberate assault was inflected on a TASO Football Official by a player who had just been ejected from the contest,” the organization said.
“Unfortunately, this type of blind-sided assault on an official while working on the field is not new to Texas Football. Though this latest incident is only hours old, TASO has begun our investigation and started a collaboration with the UIL to bring this matter to a suitable disposition.”
Duron was named the District 31-6A Defensive Player of the Year last season. He was able to post a bond of $10,000 later on Friday through O Castaneda Bail Bonds, according to jail records. He was released later in the evening.