Sheriff: Officer was 'drunk and belligerent' at kids' soccer game

- The kids of North Lakeland Youth Soccer learned a valuable lesson in how to act in public Tuesday night. The dad of one of the players, who is a corrections officer in Osceola County, was arrested and hauled off to the Polk County jail because of his behavior.

Polk Sheriff Grady Judd says Joseph Hicks was on the field causing a scene and trying to coach the team. But he isn't the team's coach.

"He was an absolute jerk," commented Judd. "He was just drunk and belligerent."

Polk Deputy Leah Walker was off duty. She was there to watch her son practice. When she saw Hicks' shenanigans, she tried to get him to calm down and hand over his car keys. He wouldn't.

So Walker called for backup. When the deputies arrived, investigators say Hicks put his hands on one of them, and he was arrested. Deputies say they had to tie his feet to stop him from kicking the cruiser.

Richard Gutierrez, a coach and board member at North Lakeland Youth Soccer, is trying to put a positive spin on the ordeal for the kids.

"A bad day doesn't make someone a bad person," he said.

Hicks has been banned from going back to the field and is expected to go before a judge on Thursday.

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