Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Youth football coach sentenced to 78 months in jail

Baltimore man pleaded guilty to trying to intimidate referee

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The youth football coach who pleaded guilty to trying to intimidate a referee with a gun following a game in an Aspen Hill park last September was sentenced to 78 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, United States Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein announced Monday.

Aaron T. McCown, 31, of the 1700 block of North Durham Street in Baltimore, pleaded guilty March 14 to one count of knowingly receiving a loaded pistol and intending to use it to intimidate the referee at a youth football game, according to a statement from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

The incident occurred on Sept. 22 during a game between a team from White Oak and the Old Town Gators of Baltimore at Aspen Hill Park, according to Maryland-National Capital Park Police.

McCown was a coach for the Old Town.

The referee stopped the game early ‘‘due to violent behavior by the Gators players and abusive language and threats by the Gators coaching staff,” according to police charging documents.

McCown then went to the parking lot, where he retrieved a black bag containing a Highpoint .45 pistol that was loaded with four rounds of ammunition from the bed of another man’s truck, according to the plea agreement issued by the U.S. District Court. He walked back onto the field towards the referee while holding the bag, according to the statement.

Others at the game dialed 911. When police arrived, McCown turned around and went back to the truck, where he returned the bag containing the gun and fled the area, according to a court statement. The owner of the truck gave police permission to search the vehicle, where the pistol was found.

McCown was arrested three days later.

‘‘McCown acted with the intent that the firearm, ammunition and explosive be used to intimidate an individual, specifically, the referee at the football game,” according to a court statement.

Staff Writer Susan Singer-Bart contributed to this report.