It wasn’t the most unusual sight: Two 14-year-old boys fighting at Indian Trails Middle School’s sports complex in Palm Coast, Florida, on Monday.
But the argument wasn’t as simple as it looked.
When deputies were summoned to the scene of the disturbance, they soon learned that the father of one of the boys was in the middle of the ruckus, according to a police report from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Anthony Gardiner, 34, apparently not only instigated the fight between the two teens, but jumped in to the fray as well, according to video footage of the incident recorded by a witness and obtained by police.
The footage shows Gardiner starting the fight and yelling, “Get him, Dom! [Expletive] him in the face.”
“Stop! You’re a parent,” a woman screams. “You’re a grown-ass man!”
The clip also shows the dad “ultimately jumping in to push the boy off his son,” and throwing a punch to his back.
According to the arrest affidavit, Gardiner also allegedly threatened his son’s opponent verbally, telling the teen he was a police officer and had a knife. It is unclear if Gardiner had a weapon but he reportedly is not a police officer.
“Most parents would do everything within their power to prevent any harm coming to their child,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement. “But this is a parent who actively encouraged violence between his son and another child to solve a problem. Then, took it another step further and began fighting one of the kids himself. This is not how you teach your children problem-solving skills.”
The six-foot-one, 215-pound Gardiner was charged with disorderly conduct and battery.