URBANDALE, Iowa -- An Urbandale man says Scott Greene, the man accused of killing two Des Moines metro-area police officers Wednesday, taunted his family at a high school football game not once, but twice. Now, he can't help but wonder whether that escalated into the tragedy that happened.
If you want to see pride, watch Urbandale High School's No. 14 on the football field. Then look at what Tavien Gardner's dad feels in the stands.
“He's been recruited by several different schools now,” said Arvis Gardner, Tavien’s father.
Arvis remembers every play. He can't forget homecoming Oct. 14. That's the first time he saw Greene’s face in the stands.
Gardner knows some don't like pro football quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem to protest police discrimination. Gardner says he's not about that. He just sits, bows his head and prays for Tavien's safety during his games.
However, after his homecoming prayer, he saw Greene watching.
“When I lifted my head he was probably standing 10-15 feet away, waving the flags and we had some parents around who asked him to leave,” said Arvis. “He wouldn't leave and got closer and started taking selfies and waving the Confederate flag in our face. At that time I stood up, took the Confederate flag and threw it on the track."
Police kicked Greene out and Greene appears to have later posted a video of his confrontation with officers on YouTube.
And an online comment on that post from a Scott Greene says, “I was offended by the blacks sitting through our anthem. Thousands more whites fought and died for their freedom. However, this is not about the armed forces, they are cop haters.”
Gardner says a week later with the memories still fresh in his mind, his son had a road game in Ankeny and he saw Greene again. So he grabbed his phone and took a picture.
No Confederate flag this time, just Greene and his dog, several feet away. When the game ended, Gardner said Greene followed his family out of the stadium.
“I was a little nervous because I don't know what's going to happen and what this guy's going to try or anything,” said Arvis.
Nothing happened until the worst happened: Two officers got ambushed and killed. The man Gardner says taunted him a few weeks ago is the accused murderer.
“It's more surreal because you're thinking, was this his purpose? Was his goal to do that to us and the police just got in the way?” said Arvis.
That's the thought he can't get out of his mind and the face he never wants to see in the stands next to his family again.