Youth football referee charged with pulling knife on coach

A Knoxville youth football referee and a coach whom he is accused of threatening with a knife at a game Saturday both have been barred from the league, an official confirmed Monday.

Arnold Jay Davis III, 50, is charged with aggravated assault after pulling a pocket knife during a confrontation with Fulton Falcons youth coach Antonio R. Hamilton, according to an arrest warrant.

Davis is a city employee and works as a storm water engineer in the engineering department.

According to City of Knoxville spokesman Jesse Mayshark, Davis’ charges have not affected his employment with the city since it was not a work-related incident. Mayshark said that could change if Davis is convicted.

Davis had kicked Hamilton out for causing a disturbance and declared the game a forfeiture.

“As both teams were leaving the field, Hamilton started an argument with Davis and at some point stated that he was going to kill (Davis), according to the defendant,” the arrest warrant reads. “No one else at the scene could corroborate that.”

As a Knox County Schools resource officer stepped between the two men, “Mr. Davis pulled a large pocket knife out of his back pocket and held it down by his side. He stated that he never opened the knife, but had it in his hand.”

Hamilton and another witness claimed the knife was open. The school resource officer said he saw an unopened knife in the referee’s hand.

The two men were separated until additional officers arrived.

Davis was arrested at the scene. Hamilton has not been charged in connection with the incident.

The game was between two teams of 9-year-old boys competing during a fundraising tournament at Central High School. Both teams are affiliated with the Knox Metro Youth Football League, which is administered jointly by the Knoxville and Knox County parks and recreation departments.

Speaking for both departments Monday, Knox County Parks and Recreation spokesman Mike Donila said Davis and Hamilton will not be allowed to participate in youth league activities pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

Both men also are being prohibited from all Knox County park properties, including athletic fields, Donila said.

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