VIRGINIA BEACH -- The top administrator for Little League Baseball in Hampton Roads is facing criminal charges stemming from an altercation with an umpire after a game in early July.
A spokesman for the Virginia Beach Police Department confirms Andy Adler faces one charge of assault.
Bill Palmer, a Little League umpire, says he filed the assault charge against Adler with the Virginia Beach magistrate's office following an altercation on July 3rd.
Palmer, who is the commissioner of Tidewater Umpires, was working a game for the District 8 Little League senior championship between Plaza and Ocean View when he says Adler assaulted him.
In a phone interview on Wednesday, Palmer said he was trying to break up a disagreement between the managers of the two teams after one manager refused to shake the other's hand after the game.
As both managers were leaving the field, Palmer said, Adler came down from the scoring box and assaulted him.
"He put a big bear hug on me, grabbing me, forcing me back up towards the pitcher's mound," Palmer said. "I repeatedly told him to get his hands off me and let me go and he wouldn't do it."
Palmer said he doesn't know why Adler pushed him but said it is against the league's rules to assault an umpire.
A spokesman for Little League Baseball declined to comment late Wednesday afternoon, citing the organization’s policy to not comment on pending investigations.
Palmer, who has worked as an umpire for 49 years, said he decided to press charges as a way to stand up to what he calls unacceptable behavior. He said nobody has ever laid a finger on him in his nearly five decades of working as an umpire.
"This is not good for the kids because the kids can do whatever they want, say whatever they want," he said.
Adler did not respond to an email seeking comment. Multiple calls to his home phone went unanswered on Wednesday.