Dad of teen hurt in hockey game hopes criminal charges make players 'think twice'
Ottawa teen allegedly assaulted opposing hockey player with stick during November game
The father of a teenage hockey player who was injured in November during a game in Ottawa hopes that criminal charges laid against the teen who hit his son will encourage other players to think about their on-ice behaviour.
"I hope that when players see this, and when they're about to do something that's outside the norm of hockey, they think twice about it and they take the time to think that there's consequences for their actions," said Tim Sheehan.
Police charged an Ottawa teen with assault with a weapon and assault causing bodily harm after an incident during a Nov. 8, 2015, major midget game in the Ottawa community of Stittsville.
The teen, who can't be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was initially given a three-game suspension for the hit.
He was suspended for a fourth game after a hearing.
Ottawa police told CBC News criminal charges were laid in late January, after investigators interviewing many witnesses.
The charges have not been proven in court.
"I'm never happy to see when charges are laid against anyone, particularly a minor hockey player," said Sheehan. "But I guess we'll let the courts decide what the future is."
'Longest 10 seconds of my life'
Sheehan said his son was involved in a battle for the puck in the corner with another player moments before he was hit.
"And that's when this other player turned around and skated towards my son and hit him when he was down picking up his glove," he recalled. "It wasn't a hockey play, in my opinion."
At first, his son didn't move, he said.
"[It] was the longest 10 seconds of my life. And then finally we saw his feet move and that's when we felt great relief," he said.
He puts on a brave face but I think deep down he's very disappointed.- Tim Sheehan, father of injured hockey player
After a few minutes, he said his son was taken to the dressing room for a routine check, and to the hospital the following day. He said his son suffered damage to an optical nerve, which causes delays in his reactions.
He said his son can't play sports, drive and has difficulty focusing on his homework in his Grade 12 year.
He added that his son's grades have fallen since he was injured in November.
"He puts on a brave face but I think deep down he's very disappointed," he said. "He's dealing with it. He's a tough kid."