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Author Topic: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl  (Read 5225 times)

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Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« on: September 24, 2018, 12:01:44 PM »
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Did a trial happen for this case?



https://www.thehockeyblawg.com/single-post/2018/03/01/Five-Pennsylvania-High-Schoolers-face-criminal-trial-for-on-ice-assault

https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/840171622392815616

Offline Youth Hockey Info

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Re: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 12:21:16 PM »
I edited the original guest post to include the players picture and the video of the incident. Below is the story...


Last year, an incident in Pennsylvania brought this discussion back to the forefront as five Delaware County high school hockey players from Ridley High School are facing misdemeanor charges for a brawl they apparently started in a playoff game last season. This situation is “unique” since, unlike many infamous incidents, this altercation does not involve a player striking another with their stick (see State v. Forbes) or a big hit.

According to police, the incident took place during a single-elimination Flyers Cup Class 2A quarterfinal game last March with Central Bucks West High School ("CB West") leading Ridley Ice Hockey Club (not officially affiliated with the Ridley School District) 7-1 with seven minutes remaining in the game. Clearly, Ridley's season was just a few minutes away from ending. Investigators say that a scorekeeper overheard the Ridley players discussing which CB West players they wanted to confront/target before the incident occurred. The theory, according to prosecutor John Gradel, is that the Ridley players, who were all seniors at the time, became frustrated with how their high school hockey careers were ending and knew they couldn’t be suspended since they would be graduating, so they decided to go out with a bang. Further, one Ridley player, who was in the stands because of an injury, noted that he “could kind of see something starting,” and “there were some cheap hits on both ends that just led up to it.”

The referees decided to end the game after the incident, resulting in a forfeit by Ridley. The police was called to the arena after fights in the stands broke out. Four of the alleged victims are juveniles, two of whom were merely 15-years old. Two of the CB West players suffered concussions and one was treated for a broken eye socket and lacerations to the face. The father of a CB West player that was taken to the hospital after the incident and treated for a fractured nose and received stitches around his eye, said what took place “wasn’t your standard hockey infraction.” The player’s mother said that she “didn’t even recognize him at first. That’s how battered up he was.”

It appears that complaints from CB West parents led to an investigation by local police, which accumulated in charges being brought against the five players. The teens were formally arraigned on January 17, 2018 in Montgomery County court.

At the preliminary hearing in November 2017, prosecutors argued that this brawl was a “concerted attack,” while defense lawyers echoed the classic argument that fights and physical altercations like this are just a part of the game. As defense attorney Mike Malloy stated, “surprise, surprise. It’s a hockey game. A fight broke out. If you watch a game today, someone is going to win a fight, someone is going to lose a fight.”
Dean Chuang, a criminal defense attorney in Washington, has echoed similar sentiment as Malloy, noting that “the state should not attempt to prosecute conduct that is expected and part of the sport. “ However, Chuang did add that “conduct outside of the norms of the sport could be prosecuted, such as sucker punches, etc. The bottom line is if the questioned conduct is part of the game, then we as a society will not prosecute the action.”

The latter part of Chuang’s statement is what makes this specific case interesting and one to keep tabs on. Is what happened on the ice during this playoff game really "a part of the game"?

Offline Youth Hockey Info

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Re: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 09:41:06 AM »
Trial commenced on Tuesday and is expected to be completed on Friday



NORRISTOWN — Three former Ridley High ice hockey players have placed their fates in the hands of a jury on charges they assaulted players from Central Bucks West during a playoff game at a Hatfield ice rink back in 2017.

“They had an agreement that they would do these things to these players. In this case, the players of CB West were injured to certain degrees,” Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney John N. Gradel argued to a jury as the joint trial for Brock Anderson, Jake Tyler Cross and Ryan Anthony Gricco got under way on Tuesday.

“This is not about hockey. This has nothing to do with hockey. These players from CB West did not want to fight,” added Gradel, who was assisted by Prosecutor Scott Frame.

Anderson, 19, of the 500 block of Ridley Circle, Morton; Cross, 20, of the 900 block of Greenhouse Lane, Secane; and Gricco, 19, of the 1500 block of Blackrock Road, Swarthmore, each face charges of simple assault, conspiracy to commit simple assault and harassment in connection with the March 9, 2017, incident at Hatfield Ice located on County Line Road in Hatfield.

The defense denies the charges, saying fighting is simply part of the sport.

The trial before Judge Richard P. Haaz is expected to last about four days.

Gradel alleged the defendants were part of a coordinated on-ice assault.

However, defense lawyers suggested during their opening remarks to the jury that fighting is a natural part of hockey and that the CB West players also were aggressive during the highly emotional elimination playoff game.

“Well, it has everything to do with hockey. This is a hockey game. It’s not a soccer game. It’s not volleyball. It’s hockey. It’s a contact sport. It’s emotional. It’s a culture. Are we now going to criminalize this behavior?” defense lawyer Mark Phillip Much, who represents Anderson, argued to the jury. “It’s foreseeable that fights occur in hockey.”

Defense lawyer Michael J. Malloy, who represents Gricco, and defense lawyer Lindsay McDonald, who represents Cross, urged jurors to carefully watch videotape footage of the fights, suggesting they will find reasonable doubt and hesitate to convict the men. The lawyers stressed the Ridley players did not strike the CB West players with hockey sticks or kick them with skates, nor did they try to take masks off the players.

An investigation began about 10:19 p.m. when Hatfield police responded to the rink for a report of a large fight during the Eastern Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey Association Regional High School “Flyers Cup” Class 2A quarterfinal game between Ridley and CB West.

Prosecutors alleged the coordinated attack began late in the third period, with about seven minutes left to play, with Ridley losing 7-1 and facing elimination from the playoff tournament. Authorities alleged Cross, during a stoppage of play, said something to each of his teammates and at the drop of the puck, the Ridley players immediately and simultaneously attacked the CB West players, punching them in the head and face, even when CB West players were forced down on the ice.

Joseph Anton testified he was playing center for CB West when a Ridley player he identified as Anderson attacked him and repeatedly struck him in the head and neck area and beat him down onto the ice.

“I was trying to get him off me,” Anton testified, adding that during the assault his throat felt like it was “on fire” and that he had difficulty breathing. “He just continued to punch me in the same area even while I was down.”

In court papers filed by Hatfield Detective Richard F. Hoffner, authorities alleged Anderson had to be restrained by a referee.

Under cross examination by Much, Anton conceded that a day after the incident he told detectives he wasn’t seriously injured and was feeling the effects of a cold. But he added he still had difficulty breathing during the alleged assault.

Onetime CB West player Brandon Savona testified Cross skated to where he was standing on the ice motionless and immediately attacked him, punching him in the head about 10 times including after he fell to the ice.

“I was seeing stars. I was dazed and confused. My ears started ringing. It was definitely a helpless feeling,” Savona testified.

Savona testified he did not attempt to fight back.

“My fear was if I were to do that I would be suspended from the next game, our semifinal game. I didn’t want to miss that,” Savona testified.

Testimony revealed Savona sought medical treatment later that evening and was diagnosed as having suffered a concussion and he did miss playing during the team’s semifinal appearance.

At the time of the arrests, District Attorney Kevin R. Steele characterized the game as one that went “from healthy competition to violence.”

“The Central Bucks West hockey players got jumped, just as if they were in an alley somewhere,” Steele alleged. “It’s true that checking an opponent and hits are a part of hockey, but a coordinated and planned physical attack with a goal of injuring the other team’s players is not hockey, it’s assault.”

The trial is expected to continue Wednesday.

Full Story

Offline tstokes378

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Re: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 12:44:50 PM »
Disgusting and pathetic display.

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Re: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 01:48:06 PM »
I was at this game sadly my son was part of that Ridley team. These boys ruined the reputation of the hockey prorgam that does not support this kind of behavior at any level. Nobody feels bad for them they get what they deserve.

Offline EaglesFlyers53

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Re: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 03:12:02 PM »
Those players went way over the top with that mugging and the fact that they discussed it and planned it out is conspiring. They deserve whatever punishment is ruled against them.

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Re: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2018, 03:43:45 PM »
One cannot even begin to comprehend how any of the comments in defense of these thugs on facebook is acceptable. I hope these imbeciles have had their USA hockey membership revoked for life. They're not even fit for or should be allowed to play mens league.

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Re: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2018, 04:30:02 PM »

Photo of the injuries suffered by CB West hockey player Shawn Phillips during an the incident that occurred in the 3rd period of his game against Ridley high school Mar 9, 2017. He suffered a broken nose, eye socket and suffered a concussion. Courtesy of Susan Philipps



The verdict

11:28am
https://twitter.com/MontcoCourtNews/status/1063468862979653632

11:30am
https://twitter.com/MontcoCourtNews/status/1063469387636764673

11:35am
https://twitter.com/MontcoCourtNews/status/1063470640139776000

11:46am
https://twitter.com/MontcoCourtNews/status/1063473402957189120

3:57pm
https://twitter.com/MontcoCourtNews/status/1063536624573792256


Full Story

NORRISTOWN — Saying they “disrespected the game of hockey,” a judge sentenced two ex-Ridley Raiders hockey players to probation and community service after a Montgomery County jury convicted them of assaulting CB West players during a playoff game at a Hatfield ice rink.

Brock Anderson, 19, of the 500 block of Ridley Circle, Morton, and Jake Tyler Cross, 20, of the 900 block of Greenhouse Lane, Secane, remained stone-faced and didn’t react when a jury convicted each of them of misdemeanor charges of simple assault and conspiracy to commit simple assault in connection with their conduct during a 10:19 p.m. March 9, 2017, on-ice incident at Hatfield Ice on County Line Road in Hatfield during the Eastern Pennsylvania Interscholastic Hockey Association Regional High School “Flyers Cup” Class 2A quarterfinal game between Ridley and CB West.

Judge Richard P. Haaz immediately sentenced each man to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service.

“You disrespected the game of hockey and all of those coaches you had over the years who, presumably over the years, tried to teach you good sportsmanship,” Haaz addressed the young men as he imposed the sentence. “There is a line between genuine athletic competition and unlawful conduct. The jury drew that line in this case and found your conduct to be unlawful.

“One of your defenses in this case was that sucker-punching an opponent is an acceptable and foreseeable risk of playing ice hockey. The jury rejected this defense,” Haaz added.

Anderson and Cross, who did not address the judge or the victims before learning their fates, left the courthouse with relatives and one of their lawyers, Mark Phillip Much, without commenting about the verdict.

The jurors, who deliberated nearly 11 hours over two days, was deadlocked on a simple assault charge filed against a third Ridley player, Ryan Anthony Gricco, 19, of the 1500 block of Blackrock Road, Swarthmore, and acquitted Gricco of the conspiracy charge. Prosecutors have not determined if they will retry Gricco on the simple assault charge.

Gricco left the courtroom with his relatives and lawyer, Michael J. Malloy, and didn’t stick around to see the judicial penalties handed to his teammates.

Assistant District Attorney John N. Gradel said the jury was “diligent and listened to all the evidence.”

Anderson, Cross and Gricco did not testify during the trial.

At trial, Gradel argued Anderson, Cross and Gricco were part of a coordinated on-ice assault and conspired to attack the CB West players late in the third period, with about seven minutes left to play, when Ridley was losing 7-1 and facing elimination from the playoff tournament.

“It’s very much like a group of kids jumping somebody. This was not hockey. This was an attack that was premeditated…and it was vicious. The players from CB West didn’t see it coming and it was an absolute disgrace what those players did from Ridley,” Gradel said.

“What the Ridley players did is what cheap-shot artists do. They sucker-punch, they hit people who don’t know it’s coming and it’s cowardly is what it is,” Gradel added.

One CB West player testified that before one faceoff he heard a Ridley player say, “We’re coming.” Another player testified that with about 11 minutes remaining in the game Anderson told him, “you have four minutes left.” Prosecutors alleged the Ridley players began the assaults with 7 minutes and 12 seconds left to play.

Gradel argued Cross, during a stoppage of play, said something to each of his teammates and at the drop of the puck, the Ridley players immediately and simultaneously attacked the CB West players, punching them in the head and face, even when CB West players were forced down on the ice.

CB West player Brandon Savona testified Cross attacked him, punching him in the head about 10 times, including after he fell to the ice. Testimony revealed Savona subsequently sought medical attention and was diagnosed as having suffered a concussion.

Joseph Anton, another CB West player, testified he was playing center when a Ridley player he identified as Anderson attacked him and repeatedly struck him in the head and neck area and beat him down onto the ice. In court papers filed by Hatfield Detective Richard F. Hoffner authorities alleged Anderson had to be restrained by a referee.

Prosecutors alleged another CB West player, Shawn Philipps, suffered a broken nose, broken orbital and facial lacerations during an alleged assault by Gricco. Jurors viewed graphic photographs of Philipps’ injuries during the trial.

Philipps testified he didn’t want to fight, but defense lawyers challenged his testimony, implying to jurors he was aggressive toward Gricco during the game and they claimed Philipps gave inconsistent testimony that was not reliable.

On Friday, after about six hours of deliberations, jurors asked to view again the videotape footage of the on-ice encounter between Gricco and Philipps. Jurors also asked to re-hear Philipps’ testimony, which was read back to them by a court stenographer.

After re-viewing the footage of the on-ice skirmishes and listening again to Philipps’ testimony, the jurors indicated they were deadlocked on the simple assault charge against Gricco.

During the trial, several of the CB West players testified they didn’t fight back because they feared they would be suspended from their next game, the semi-final game of the tournament.

Prosecutors said for CB West, at the time the top seed in the tournament, the injuries inflicted by Ridley players prevented two CB West players from participating in their next game against William Tennent. CB West was eliminated from the 2017 “Flyers Cup” Championship during that next game.

Prosecution witnesses testified the Ridley players’ alleged actions were not acceptable youth hockey conduct.

But defense lawyers Much, Malloy and Lindsay McDonald, who represented Cross, challenged the alleged victims’ claims they didn’t want to fight, suggesting nothing prevented them from leaving the ice and going to their bench.

McDonald suggested to the jury that fighting is a natural part of hockey and that the CB West players also were aggressive during the highly emotional elimination playoff game.

The lawyers argued “a hockey fight is not a crime,” that the defendants didn’t intend to injure the CB West players and that prosecutors were trying to “criminalize” a hockey fight. Defense lawyers argued the game was “chippy, physical and emotional,” and involved a lot of “trash talk” and resulted in numerous penalties for both teams.

The defense lawyers stressed the Ridley players did not strike the CB West players with hockey sticks or kick them with skates nor tried to take masks off the players.

Defense lawyers also implied the conduct and injuries are reasonable, foreseeable hazards of participating in a lawful sporting event and therefore, the Ridley players should not be held criminally responsible.

Prosecutors argued the single elimination tournament’s design and zero tolerance policy on intimidation or fighting are significant in the case because late in the game and down 7-1, Ridley had no real chance of winning and advancing. Ridley’s season was all but over and for the seniors at Ridley it was their final game and an ejection and suspension from play for fighting would have no effect on them, prosecutors implied.

Origin of story found here

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Re: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2018, 01:07:44 AM »
Wow, hockey culture has become so soft! This is nothing compared to junior hockey in my day, 2002-2005. Before you cry about how they're not 18... neither was I. I was 14 when I played my first Junior B game, and Junior A shortly after. This happened at least once per game. We dropped our gloves and helmets, squared up, and handled ourselves accordingly.

That's the sport ...find a different one if you don't it. What a bunch of pansies...

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Re: Ridley and CB West High School Hockey Brawl
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2018, 08:16:01 AM »
This wasn't junior hockey. It's school hockey and there is a zero tolerance policy on fighting unlike junior hockey. There is a big difference between a fight and a plotted out plan to mug players. Our players were being told they were about to be jumped before the puck was dropped. Those of whom threw punches from our team did it in self defense not because they wanted to be part of a brawl. The Ridley players are sore losers who wanted to go out with a bang, they accomplished their goal and now they can suffer the consequences of their stupid decision.

 

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