St. Petersburg Police arrested a Clearwater mother for felony child abuse after a report states she hit one of the cheerleaders after someone pulled her hair.
Ashley Preston would not comment on camera without her attorney, but her father, Harry Preston said he witnessed the whole thing and would tell us exactly what happened.
“Some of those kids pulled her hair, so she don't know, I don't know who did it, we are pulling her back she's swinging her arms, no kids got hit,” Preston said.
Preston said there is a lot of bad blood between the team his grandson plays on, the Largo Packers and the Greenwood Panthers.
“Every game there is a fight, it needs to stop,” Preston said.
The report states that the cheerleaders taunted the opposing team during the game. Preston said the taunts described in the report were more hateful than the police described.
“Those two teams never never should play each other again because it just goes on and on it's not the first time it happens all the time,” Preston said. Is the hating that bad over here in Clearwater against each other? I just don't get that, the hate, they have toward each other. I mean these little kids are over here playing football, they ain't doing it, and you got adults allowing the cheerleading squad to yell and scream at adults … that don't go down like. That that's not the way the stuff is supposed to be. It's the adults. It just needs to stop."
The president of MidFlorida Football and Cheerleading told ABC Action News over the phone that this was an isolated incident. He said there is a strong rivalry between the two teams but he disagreed with Preston that it was out of control, despite the recent arrest.
We reached out to members of the cheerleading squad. They told ABC Action News not to contact them in the future regarding what happened during the taunts by the juvenile cheerleaders.
Police said the case is still under investigation and they are reviewing cell phone video captured by witnesses at the scene.
“Now, her whole life, her whole career is on the line behind some mess like this because that is some serious stuff and my child is not like that,” Preston said.