Referee found not guilty for altercation with Odessa police sergeant

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ODESSA -- An Odessa youth soccer referee is relieved after being found not guilty of interfering with the duties of an off-duty police officer.

David Hisaw (pictured right) was found not guilty of a 2014 altercation involving an Odessa Police sergeant. Jeffrey Wheaton (pictured left) has not had is trial yet.

Two years ago a confrontation broke out between parents at the UTPB Soccer Fields.

One of those parents was Sgt. Tommy Jones, who says he was trying to break up the fight.

CBS 7 News has been following the case since the very beginning and spoke exclusively with one of the referees following his victory in court.

Even though David Hisaw was exonerated Wednesday, Sgt. Jones will not be facing any punishment.

Both the Texas Rangers and Odessa Police Department's investigations concluded that Jones handled the confrontation in a professional manner.

However, Hisaw still believes otherwise.

"Tensions were high, emotions were high, adrenalin was high, It was a very competitive game," Hisaw recounted.

The day was October 18, 2014, longtime referee David Hisaw was assisting with one of their age 10-and-under youth soccer games at the UTPB Soccer Fields.

"Some of the parents thought some of the players were playing a little rough, and they wanted to confront the other parents about the level of play, the roughness of the play and it just escalated," said Hisaw.

Like with any confrontation, Hisaw says he and another referee, Jeffrey Wheaton, immediately got into the middle of it and started asking parents to leave the field – Jones was one of them.

"He was in our opinion part of the problem, he didn't see it that way," said Hisaw.

Hisaw and Wheaton claim that Jones didn't announce that he was an officer until after the confrontation.

However, in the original arrest affidavit Jones reported that Hisaw placed his hands on him, a claim that Hisaw denies.

Both referees believed they had a case of official oppression on their hands after Jones had them arrested two weeks later on the same fields where the initial incident took place.

"The way we were arrested on the last day of soccer, in front of everybody, it makes you want to think that somebody [thought], well I'm going to get the last laugh off this deal," said Hisaw.

Fast forward over two years later, Hisaw had his day in court and was found not guilty of interfering with the duties of a peace officer.

"If we can work better with OPD from this, or learn something from this, I think that's what we need to do, you know step forward and figure out a way to be on the same page next time," concluded Hisaw.

Hisaw wants to thank the Odessa Soccer Association and all the players, coaches and parents for their continuous support throughout all of this.

The association is paying for both Hisaw and Wheaton's attorney fees as they believe they were wrongfully arrested.

Both the Odessa Police Department and Ector County Attorney Dusty Gallivan say they respect the jury's decision.

As for Wheaton, he is still waiting for a court date to be set.

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ORIGINAL:

A referee who was charged with interfering with public duties in 2014 at the UTPB soccer fields was found not guilty by a jury Wednesday.

David Hisaw was working as a referee on October 18th when he and a fellow referee, Jeffrey Wheaton, tried to break up a disturbance among parents, one of which was off-duty Odessa Police Sergeant Tommy Jones.

Two weeks after the incident both Hisaw and Wheaton were arrested publicly as they were refereeing Odessa Soccer Association games.

Sergeant Jones, who drafted and signed the warrants for the arrests of both men stated that they had hindered him when he was trying to perform his job as a police officer.

Hisaw and Wheaton claimed that they were trying to break up a disturbance that the Jones was actively a part of, adding that Jones did not disclose that he was an off-duty police officer until after the fact.

On Wednesday Hisaw was found not guilty of the Class B Misdemeanor, according to Ector County District Attorney Dusty Gallivan.

Gallivan tells CBS 7 that Wheaton has not had his trial yet.

Odessa Police say that Sergeant Jones will not be facing any punishment for the arrests.