HAZARD, Ky. (AP) — A sheriff charged with assault after allegedly hitting a teenage girl while trying to break up a fight during a high school basketball game in eastern Kentucky has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Owsley County Sheriff Brent Lynch, 47, appeared Monday in Perry District Court for an arraignment, WYMT-TV reported.

Lynch is part of Owsley County High School’s coaching staff and intervened in a Dec. 3 fight during a girls’ basketball game at Perry County Central High School, police have said. Trooper Matthew Gayheart said Lynch is alleged to have rushed the floor during the fight between players and struck a Perry County Central player while breaking up the fight.

An investigation led to a warrant being issued charging him with fourth-degree assault, police said.

Lynch’s lawyer declined to comment to the station about the charges.