Fan throws popcorn at ref, then attacks him at high school basketball game, MN cops say

Screengrab from Valley News Live
·1 min read

A fan at a high school basketball game in Minnesota faces charges after he was accused of assaulting a referee, according to media reports.

The incident occurred Jan. 13 in a boys’ basketball game between Lake Park-Audubon and Win-E-Mac. A foul was called with 50 seconds left in the game, and before a player went to shoot free throws, an object was tossed from the stands in the direction of a referee, video shows.

The fan, identified as 45-year-old Phillip Lokken, had thrown a bag of popcorn, which led to his ejection, video from Valley News Life shows. Lokken then flipped off the referee and shouted explicit language, the publication reported.

The confrontation turned physical when Lokken approached the court and grabbed the referee’s whistle and shirt, video shows. He is shown tearing the referee’s whistle off of his lanyard.

“A deputy later made contact with Lokken, who told him that the referee was making ‘bulls--- calls all night,’ and that he had had enough of it,” the Park Rapids Enterprise reported.

Timothy Godfrey, the superintendent of Lake Park-Audubon School District, said Lokken is not known to either of the school’s communities, Valley News Live reported.

Two months after the incident, Lokken was reportedly charged with misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct.

Lokken told the Star Tribune he made “a bad decision” during the incident. He has previously been convicted twice for disorderly conduct and once for fifth-degree assault, the newspaper reported.

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