A Cuban taekwondo athlete and his coach were banned for life after Angel Matos kicked the referee in the face following his bronze-medal match disqualification.
Cuban coach Leudis Gonzalez offered no apology for Matos' actions during the men's over-80 kg (176 pounds) match.
Matos was winning 3-2, with 1:02 in the second round, when he fell to the mat after being hit by his opponent, Kazakhstan's Arman Chilmanov. He was sitting there, awaiting medical attention, when he was disqualified for taking too much injury time. Fighters get one minute, and Matos was disqualified when his time ran out.
Matos angrily questioned the call, pushed a judge, then pushed and kicked referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden. Matos then spat on the floor and was escorted out.
Washington was engaged in a brawl when he saw Tomjanovich running towards the altercation. Washington, thinking someone was trying to hit him from behind, swung around and hit Tomjanovich with a violent roundhouse. The punch, which took Tomjanovich by surprise, fractured his face about 1/3 of an inch away from his skull and left Tomjanovich unconscious in a pool of blood in the middle of the arena. Players involved often say that right after Tomjanovich collapsed, the silence at the arena, filled with shocked fans, was "the loudest silence you have ever heard." As it turned out, Tomjanovich came very close to dying on the court. Besides having the bone structure of his face detached from his skull, he was leaking blood and spinal fluid into his skull capsule. Tomjanovich would later recount that at the time of the incident, he believed a scoreboard fell on him.
Anyway, I agree with you that it is assault, even assault with a deadly weapon. Not unlike a javelin hurler using his javelin against the judging stand, way out of the box of just a bannable offense.
On December 8, 2004 five Indiana players and five fans (John Green, William Paulson, John Ackerman, Bryant Jackson and David Wallace, the brother of Ben Wallace) were formally charged for assault and battery; Jermaine O'Neal and spectator John Green, who county prosecutor David Gorcyca said "single-handedly incited" the brawl by throwing a cup of liquid at Artest, were charged with two counts, and Artest, David Harrison, Stephen Jackson, and Anthony Johnson were charged with one count each. Three fans, including David Wallace, received one count of the same charge, two fans (Charlie Haddad and A.J. Shackleford) who entered the court during the fight were charged for trespassing, and Bryant Jackson, who had prior criminal convictions, was charged with a felony assault for throwing a chair. All of the fans involved were banned from attending Pistons games.
On March 29, 2005, Bryant Jackson pleaded no contest to a felony assault charge for throwing the chair, and on May 3, 2005, he was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to pay $6,000 in restitution. David Wallace was also convicted, and sentenced to one year of probation and community service for punching Pacer guard Fred Jones from behind.
All five players who were legally charged pleaded no contest to the charges. On September 23, 2005, after pleading no contest to their assault charges, Artest, O'Neal and Jackson were all sentenced to one year on probation, 60 hours of community service, and a $250 fine. A week later, Harrison received the same sentence, and on October 7, 2005, Johnson, the last player to be charged, also received the same sentence.
On March 27, 2006 a jury found Green guilty on one count of assault and battery for punching Artest in the stands, but acquitted him of an assault charge for throwing the cup. On May 1, 2006, Green was sentenced, and received 30 days in jail and two years' probation. On November 7, 2006, the Pistons issued a letter to Green informing him that he was banned for life from attending any Pistons home games.