Charges laid after on-ice violence at Alberta youth hockey tournament
'Actions like this have no place in our game'
An assault charge has been laid against one man and is pending against a second person after an attack on a referee and a coach at a youth hockey tournament in Lethbridge, Alta.
Police say that at the end of a game on Sunday, a 10-year-old male player got into a verbal spat with a referee, which escalated to the youth striking the official twice with his stick and the ref pushing the player to the ice.
A group of coaches and a relative of the player then walked onto the ice, where a coach from the opposing team was allegedly shoved down and the ref was punched multiple times by the relative and a second man before the scrap ended.
The relative was later arrested but the other man, who is 36, left the arena and is still being sought.
Robert Farrell Creighton, a 55-year-old resident of Standoff, Alta., has been released and is to appear in court Oct. 9.
Letbridge police told CBC the referee is 51, and that no charges are being laid against him.
This just happened in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lethbridge?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Lethbridge</a> tonight. From what I’ve been told it was a 10 year old 3 on 3 tournament where a player slashed a ref. My source tells me the ref responded in a physical way (some are saying self defence) & this happened. Reaching out to organizer for more info <a href="https://t.co/mlsZs8nNuE">pic.twitter.com/mlsZs8nNuE</a>—@DuckMillard
Cellphone video shot by a spectator appears to show five unidentified people approach an official, who skates backwards before getting shoved and falling to the ice with a second person before someone intervenes.
A 55-year-old resident of Standoff, Alta., has been released and is to appear in court Oct. 9.
The annual three-on-three Quest for the Cup tournament involved players between the ages of seven and 12 and was organized by the Lethbridge-based skills development business High Performance Hockey.
A statement posted to High Performance's website Sunday evening said the tussle "should serve as an example to all about the importance of ensuring the rink is a safe place for our children. Actions like this have no place in our game."
It also said the tournament is an opportunity for players to enjoy the game of hockey with their friends.
"For that reason, we are especially disappointed to see an act like this occur."
Lethbridge is approximately 200 kilometres southeast of Calgary.