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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- A judge has dismissed charges against a football spy and instead thrown a flag at police who arrested a man during a Logan High School practice.
Matthew Hunter, 25, was arrested for trespassing on school property Oct. 3, the week of a big game between Logan and Tooele High School. His father and brother were assistant coaches at Tooele.
But 1st District Judge Clint Judkins said Hunter was not a trespasser, and officers did not have probable cause for his arrest. As a result, two misdemeanor drug charges were also dropped Thursday.
"Scouting a football team, while unethical and immoral, is certainly not illegal," defense attorney Greg Skordas said.
Skordas noted that Hunter was not the only person near the field. There was a soccer game at the same time.
The assistant coach who confronted Hunter is a Logan police officer, Capt. Eric Collins. He said he was concerned about safety.
"It appears to be a football issue," head coach Mike Favero said. "But if we had a stranger on campus and a student was harmed, we'd be in court for another reason."
Collins was disappointed by the judge's ruling.
"We feel like we did the right thing, and we'd do it again," he said.
Although it's considered bad practice, there is no prohibition against scouting a team's practice, according to the Utah High School Activities Association.
"He tried to create a crime where none occurred," Skordas said of Collins.
------ Information from: The Herald Journal, http://www.hjnews.com
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-02-09-07 1251MST