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Woman charged with attack on pregnant referee at game

Published March 3, 2006 1:44 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Nevada woman apparently angered by fouls called during a basketball game for 10- and 11-year-old boys in Cedar City has been charged with allegedly attacking the referee - who is pregnant.

Melissa Cheeney, 33, of Pioche, Nev., was charged with a class A misdemeanor count of assault and a class C count of public intoxication, said Iron County prosecutor Scott Garrett.

Class A misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to one year in jail, while class C violations are punishable by up to 90 days.

Garrett said the assault charge was heightened to a class A because the referee, who was not identified, is pregnant.

The incident occurred after a city-sponsored youth basketball game Monday night at Cedar Middle School.

Cheeney was upset by calls made during the game and confronted the referee after the game, said police Sgt. Jerry Womack.

Cheeney then grabbed the referee, who is several months pregnant, by the hair, pulled her to the ground and kicked her, Womack said.

Other parents broke up the fight and called police, he said. The woman told police she had consumed alcohol before the game, he said.

The referee was taken to a hospital to be checked out and was released the same evening, police said.

- The Associated Press