Crime & Courts

Wichita police captain charged with battery in youth basketball court incident

Man seen shoving referee in youth basketball game

The Augusta Police Department is investigating an incident that involved a Wichita Police Department member at a youth basketball game.
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The Augusta Police Department is investigating an incident that involved a Wichita Police Department member at a youth basketball game.

A Wichita police captain has been charged with battery and disorderly conduct over an incident on a basketball court in which the off-duty police commander allegedly shoved a 17-year-old girl refereeing a youth game.

The charges, both misdemeanors, identify the captain as Kevin Mears. He faces a first court appearance on both charges at 1 p.m. Feb. 13.

In a statement Monday, Augusta City Prosecutor Benjamin Winters said the case was investigated by the Augusta Department of Public Safety. The investigation “included numerous witness statements as well as video evidence,” the statement said.

Mears – who has headed the Wichita Police Department’s East Patrol bureau – couldn’t be reached for comment.

Wichita police had confirmed that the man accused of pushing a teenage official at an Augusta youth basketball game on Jan. 13 is a Wichita police captain but wouldn’t provide his name until Monday. That’s when the department confirmed the charges against Mears, a police spokesman said.

Mears “remains on unpaid leave pending the outcome of criminal proceedings and an internal review” to determine whether he violated department policies, the Wichita Police Department said in a statement Monday.

A man posted a video of the incident to Facebook.

The video shows a man confronting the teen referee and saying “Get out of my way” as he leaves the court with a player.

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