Jury convicts youth baseball coach in umpire assault

By From page A3 | September 25, 2012

FAIRFIELD — A Vallejo youth baseball coach who cold-cocked an umpire after a perceived blown call was found guilty Monday of a pair of misdemeanor criminal battery charges.

David D. Davis was coaching first base during a Babe Ruth league state championship game on a Sunday afternoon in July 2010 at Wilson Field in Vallejo.

Davis reacted angrily at the called out at first base when a Vallejo player did not beat out the throw. The field umpire ejected Davis from the game and then walked up to him to follow through with the ejection. The two men exchanged a few words — Davis, who is African-American, claimed some of them were racial insults — and then Davis threw one punch, knocking out the umpire and bringing an end to the losing game.

Davis told a jury last week that he acted in self-defense when the umpire came at him. He said he was in fear for himself and his players.

The outburst of violence between two adults working among children got national media coverage and wide play in Bay Area and Sacramento news outlets.

The umpire was taken by ambulance to the hospital, treated and released and returned to the ballpark the next day talking about a $5,000 settlement. Davis’ attorney, Vince Maher, impugned the settlement offer.

Prosecutors charged Davis with battery causing serious injury and he could have been sent to prison if he had been found guilty of that felony. Instead, jurors found Davis guilty of the less-serious crimes of misdemeanor battery and battery on a sports official.

“Justice was done in this matter,” Maher said of the jury’s verdict.

Davis is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

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