Youth season canceled due to father’s threat

Published 11:32 pm Monday, July 4, 2016

GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A youth football player’s father has pleaded guilty to threatening officials from a Pennsylvania youth football league, prompting the cancellation of its season.

Joseph Loughner, 52, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy, terroristic threats and harassment for sending threatening letters to Mount Pleasant Area Junior Football League officials.

Loughner and a co-worker sent letters to a referee that prompted him to resign, investigators said.

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League officials also found 40 bullet shell casings in a parking lot near the field used by the league with the names of officials written on them, according to police.

Loughner’s attorney, Ken Burkley, said his client acknowledges making the threats but denies placing the bullets in the lot, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

“It was a bad parental reaction to a dispute. My client admits he made a mistake,” Burkley said. “There were a group of parents who were upset over increased weight limits for the teams, and several young players were hurt. He understands the mistake he made.”

It’s unclear how much restitution Loughner will be ordered to pay to the league, which is seeking $16,000 — $4,000 in revenue losses for each game that was canceled.