Football game canceled after official, coach fight

The Pop Warner football game at Colts Neck High School was canceled Monday after a fight between an official and a coach.

League officials held an emergency meeting Monday night to discuss the incident in which Pop Warner Vice President for Football Operations Mario Romano allegedly punched Midgets coach Peter Van Ruitenbeek.

The incident occurred Sunday night after a Midgets game at the high school. Witnesses say the teams were clearing the field and parents were leaving the stands when the alleged fight broke out. Romano?s wife claims her husband was only defending himself after Van Ruitenbeek attacked him verbally.

Police say Romano punched Van Ruitenbeek and tried to drive away. Authorities say Van Ruitenbeek was unconscious for 30 minutes.

According to police, the fight started because Romano wanted his son to get more playing time. Romano?s wife says her husband only asked the coach when their son would play offense.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."