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Utah man charged with felony crime for violent foul during soccer game

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Feb 20th, 2019 @ 5:48pm

SANDY — A man who police say got too rough with an opposing player during an adult rec league soccer match in Sandy is now facing a felony charge.

Ethan Eli Harris, 41, of West Valley City, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.

On Oct. 27, a man was playing soccer at Falcon Park, 9150 S. Peruvian Circle. During one play, he was competing for the ball with Harris, charging documents state. When the man positioned himself to protect the ball, "he felt Harris collide with him and push him hard from the back," the charges state.

The man told police that play was just part of the game. But what happened next wasn't.

"Harris grabbed him from the back, wrapping his arms around him … picked (him) up and threw him down to the ground 'like a martial artist,'" according to charging documents.

The opposing player's collarbone was broken and Harris was red carded, or ejected, from the match, the charges state.

Sandy police contacted the referee of the game who confirmed Harris threw the man to the ground, according to the charges. Harris claimed the man elbowed him in the throat first, but the referee told police "he did not see anything like that happen," the charges state.

The referee said the victim stayed on the ground for several minutes after the alleged attack, and described the crowd as being "shocked," according to the charges. The man did not return to the game.

Pat Reavy

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