WINNIPEG – Police say charges are pending in connection with a hockey brawl involving 12-year-olds at the Southdale Community Centre in February.
The fight was recorded by a Sagkeeng First Nation parent and posted on YouTube.
A 12-year-old player’s wrist was broken when he and a referee went down on the ice during the struggle at the end of a game between hockey teams from Sagkeeng and Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.
A coach left the Sagkeeng team’s bench and jumped on the referee after the pair went down.
Police continue to investigate and charges are pending, Winnipeg Const. Jason Michalyshen said.
“I think if we review that video or if anyone reviews that video we saw physical assault where individuals were punching and physically attacking other individuals; we saw on some occasions where sticks were being used. Again, we could be potentially be looking at assault with a weapon related charges. So again they’re serious offences,” Michalyshen told Global News. He added, “when police ultimately have to become involved we really hit rock bottom specifically when we’re talking about sport.”
The coach and a player from the Sagkeeng team were later suspended by the Southeast Tribal Council, which organized the tournament where the brawl happened.
It was one of three recent Manitoba minor hockey fights that have grabbed headlines.
Another took place between parents and coaches from two Winnipeg teams in a locker room filled with young players during a tournament in Fargo, N.D., in February. The parents involved in that fight were barred from hockey games and practices for three years but an appeal of their suspension is still pending.
The third was in late March in Stonewall, Man., during a game between Stonewall and Lake Manitoba First Nation. Following that incident, some officials have said they won’t referee Lake Manitoba games anymore because of repeated problems.
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