A Beech Island man was sentenced Wednesday for assaulting a soccer referee in July.
Johnny Alberto Zuniga, 44, of Atomic Road, was sentenced to a year probation and a $500 fine under the First Offender Act. Superior Court Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet also banned Zuniga from Columbia County parks during his probation.
Zuniga was charged with battery against a sports office July 20.
At a July 8 Augusta Amateur Soccer League match, a referee called a penalty on Zuniga, who responded by stepping on him and kicking his shins.
When the official tried twice to give him a red card, Zuniga grabbed the referee’s neck and began choking him, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
The referee, who began coughing up blood, sought medical attention at an area hospital.
Zuniga also has been banned from the Augusta Amateur Soccer League and from participating in any Columbia County leagues.