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Man Accused of Beating Teen Umpire Can Go to Son's Games

By JOHN SPANO, Times Staff Writer
June 24, 1986

After promising to behave himself, a father who had been accused of beating up a teen-age umpire in a Huntington Beach baseball game won the right Monday to continue attending his son's Little League games, according to the father's lawyer.

Robert Foster, 40, had been barred by Seaview Little League president Bruce Weaver from attending games after a June 15 altercation at Edison High School in which a 16-year-old umpire claimed that Foster had attacked him on the field while a game was in progress.

Foster and his wife, Diane, sued the league Monday, contending that the father had only defended himself from an attack by C. J. Ellson, the umpire whose broken right arm was in a cast at the time.

"He wanted to go to his son's game, and he (Foster) has achieved that," said Jeffrey D. Stearman, the lawyer who filed the suit.

Earlier, Ellson had filed a complaint with Huntington Beach police against Foster, alleging that he had been attacked by the father during the game.

Ellson told police that Foster began harassing him from the stands after he made a controversial call. Foster ran onto the field and assaulted Ellson after the umpire told him to leave the area, according to Ellson's account.

Attorneys for both sides agreed to a compromise in the courtroom of Superior Court Commissioner Eleanor M. Palk, Stearman said.

"Robert Foster was allowed to attend the game tonight (Monday) and Wednesday on condition that he act in an orderly manner, more or less," Stearman said. Stearman said that Weaver stated in court that Ellson would not umpire the games.

In his lawsuit, Foster had alleged that in response to his cheering, the umpire told him several times to "shut up." After the umpire made reference to Foster's wife's "Spanish heritage," Foster approached the umpire on the field, according to the suit.

Then the umpire approached Foster "in a rude, angry and threatening manner, in response to which (Foster) raised his arm in defense," according to the lawsuit.