GERMANTON, NC - A parent who slapped a referee at a children's soccer game was charged with Assaulting a Sports Official at Whitley Field in Davidson County last week.

Christopher Allen Howell went onto the field and confronted the official during a game on Nov. 9, according to the Davidson County Sheriff's Office.

After a controversial call, Howell and the official started pushing each other before Howell slapped him. The ref tried to escort Howell off the field before the assault happened.

"The kids are just standing there perplexed about why everybody is fussing," said Davidson County Sheriff David Grice. "They don't know the rules. You have a young person trying to mediate this thing and call the rules as he knows them. So parents need to stay out of it."

The referee was 16 years old.

Howell, 32, was given a citation and has a court date on Dec. 11.