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Investigation into softball fight to be reviewed outside of local jurisdiction

William Ferchland

An investigation into a fight during a softball game involving off-duty authorities was forwarded to the district attorney’s office this week while a player vowed legal action against the police department.

Sergeants David Stevenson and Cam Carmichael completed their reports after interviewing 27 people on the June 24 incident at the South Tahoe Middle School softball fields.

El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe said his Tahoe office received the reports Tuesday. They will be referred to Placerville, and possibly the attorney general’s office, to avoid any suspicion of prejudice.

“I think it’s appropriate given the number of people involved who are from the community,” Uthe said. “I want the community to have confidence that in the review process it receives an unbiased eye.”

Uthe’s counterpart in Placerville, Paul Sutherland, said he hasn’t received any information on the case yet and reserved comment.

Last month a bench-clearing skirmish occurred when a tangle among two players happened at third base after a slide. The game between The Village Mountain Surf and Sports and the South Lake Tahoe Police Association was suspended by the umpire. It hadn’t reached the second inning.

Frank DeBartolo, a Village player, said he rushed the field and was punched five times by Chris Kynett, a Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District firefighter playing on the police team. Kynett declined comment.

DeBartolo said he consulted with attorney Joe Laub and plans to retain the attorney to seek action against Kynett and the police department.

Afterward, DeBartolo said, headaches and neck and back pain bothered him to the point where he went to the hospital four days after the game. DeBartolo, 41, said doctors diagnosed a concussion.

“I never get headaches so I decided to get professionally checked,” he said.

Police Chief Don Muren said the police team was not sponsored by the department and any legal issues would be referred to City Attorney Catherine DiCamillo.

Sgt. Stevenson said there were two suspects and two victims with one of each on the opposing teams. Stevenson would not provide names.

– E-mail William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com.


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