Former congressman, coach share different stories of scuffle - - Jackson, MS

Former congressman, coach share different stories of scuffle

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - "It's for the kids.  It's not for the adults.  It's not to be crazy and try to attack people," said Chris Hester.

Hester says his team of 10 to 12 year olds had just wrapped up a game Sunday afternoon at Liberty Park's soccer fields.

He says he was in his SUV when former Congressman Chip Pickering, whose son plays for the opposing team, approached.

"He proceeds to start yelling at me for saying something to his child.  I told him I don't know who your child is, asked him to get out of my car," said Hester.

According to Hester, Pickering became irate and dragged him by the legs from the SUV.  After undergoing neck surgery five weeks ago, Hester feared the scuffle would create further damage.

"I had one hand on my neck, trying to protect my brace and the other hand pushing him away, just keeping him away from my face because I didn't want him taking a shot to my head," said Hester.

Pickering's story couldn't be more different.  He says coach Hester "verbally abused and physically intimidated" his son.  When he went to confront the coach Pickering says Hester came after him.

Pickering described the altercation in a statement, "The coach then opened his door, removed his seatbelt and exited his vehicle, attacking and assaulting me, and I was forced to defend myself by restraining him."

Madison Police are still trying to make out the truth in the matter, interviewing ten witnesses and the men involved before passing it to Municipal Judge Dale Dank's.

"We hope to have it before Judge Dank's within the next couple days once we complete it, but we want to do a thorough job," said Madison Police Master Sgt. Robert Sanders.  

Both men have filed simple assault complaints against each other. Pickering has also complained to the Mississippi State Soccer Association and has asked for Hester's immediate suspension.

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