After winning eight straight games at Madison Square Garden, the New York Rangers were defeated 3-1 by the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5 on Thursday night. Following the game, a Ranger supporter assaulted a Lightning fan who was celebrating the victory.
The attacker has been identified as James Anastasio, 29, of Staten Island. Anastasio allegedly struck the victim in the head while he was celebrating Lightning’s triumph with his peers.
— Scott Kaplan (@ScottKaplanOn) June 10, 2022
The victim who didn’t have a chance to protect himself collapsed and hit his head on the ground. He was also given help by other Rangers fans and regained consciousness after 5 minutes had passed.
According to a New York Police Department report, the attack occurred around 11:30 p.m. ET and was fueled by heated arguments. The police also said that after experiencing the attack, the victim was rushed to the hospital in a stable condition.
Anastasio allegedly fled the scene after hitting the victim. He was later arrested by authorities and tried in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday night.
In light of the assault incident, Anastasio was charged with two counts of assault, two counts of disorderly conduct, and two counts of harassment. The allegations are based on a report that he also assaulted a witness who attempted to stop him. The officer said that “the witness felt pain and bruising on his face” but did not receive medical treatment.”
On Friday 10 June, MSG released a statement regarding the assault incident. In their release, they said that they “condemned” the attack. An MSG spokesperson also said that MSG was cooperating with law enforcement authorities throughout the investigation.
— MSG (@TheGarden) June 10, 2022
Furthermore, the MSG has also imposed a lifetime ban on Anastasio from engaging in activities within The Garden and all other MSG places. The ban also includes the Upper Theater at MSG, Radio City Hall, Beacon Theatre, and the Chicago Theatre.
A video commentary from Anastasio’s father has gone viral on social media. According to him, what was done by his son does not need to be defended.
“He made choices. Sometimes choices in our lives have consequences. There is nothing to defend or defend, we will wait for him to come home and pick him up. Tomorrow is a new day for him,” he commented.
Lightning winger Ondrej Palat scored two minutes from time. The goal propelled the Lightning to an advantage over the Rangers, marking the third straight game in which Palat has scored.
The Lightning striker, Kevin Rooney also contributed points for his kick. Unexpectedly, the ball from the Lightning defender was able to be driven by Rooney past the Rangers goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin.
Besides Palat and Rooney, Mikhail Sergachev’s shot was also able to pass Shesterkin. Sergachev’s goal was the decisive goal to close the game 1-1 in the 17th minute in the second quarter.
Following that win, the Lightning and the Rangers will return to play in Game 6 to be held on Saturday 11 June at 8 p.m. ET.
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