Kenmore Middle School. Photo courtesy of Northshore School District

Kenmore Middle School. Photo courtesy of Northshore School District

Kenmore man charged after assaulting referee at middle school basketball game

The 72-year-old referee suffered a broken nose and cheekbone

A Kenmore man has been charged with second-degree assault after he allegedly attacked a referee during a middle school basketball game.

On Dec. 16, 2021, law enforcement arrived at Kenmore Middle School to respond to an incident that left a referee in need of medical attention with a “deep laceration on his nose and a hematoma above his left eye,” according to probable cause documents.

The referee, 72, reportedly suffered a broken nose and cheekbone as a result of the incident.

From collecting witness testimony and verifying with video evidence, the King County Sheriff’s Office gathered that the incident began when the defendant’s son intentionally fouled another player, causing a “skirmish” between the two competing teams.

The defendant’s son was reportedly knocked to the ground when a referee tried to break up the altercation. The 6-foot-6-inch tall defendant allegedly charged out of the stands and knocked the referee down from behind. The referee landed on his face, according to documents.

Witnesses claimed he yelled “No one touches my son” as he knocked the referee on his face.

The defendant, who was eventually identified as Mark Robert McLaughlin, left the school campus with his son after allegedly injuring the man. He turned himself in the next day.

The court requested that McLaughlin’s bail be set at $20,000, as was set at, “based on the likelihood that the defendant may commit a violent offense.” The defendant’s criminal history consists of an assault 4th degree DV charge from 2014, which appears to have been deferred, according to the court.


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