Referee punched, beaten by players during Georgia basketball game. Police investigating

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An amateur basketball game came to a violent end when several players and their parents attacked a referee on the court of a Georgia church gymnasium, according to a viral video posted online.

DeKalb County police are now investigating the alleged assault at Stronghold Christian Church on April 3, a department spokesperson told McClatchy News.

Officers arrived at the church on Rock Chapel Road in Lithonia and found the referee “who advised that he was assaulted by multiple suspects after the basketball game,” according to a statement.

Video of the fight shared on Facebook shows a small group approach the referee, who tries backing away before one of them throws a punch. The group continues chasing him across the court, where he’s pushed, punched and repeatedly kicked after falling to the ground, the video shows.

The referee suffered severe injuries in the attack and had to be treated at a hospital, according to WSB-TV. His condition wasn’t known as of Tuesday, April 5.

Leaders at the church, who didn’t organize the event, called the incident “truly unfortunate.”

“We open our doors to serve our community and our goal is to provide an atmosphere conducive for enjoyment ...” Senior Pastor Dr. Benjamin Gaither said in a statement posted on the church’s Facebook page. “While we can not control people, it is our hope and prayer that those who enter our facility will conduct themselves in the best manner.”

Police have declined to release further details about the incident, and it’s unclear if those involved could face charges.

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