Four people are facing charges of assault following a fight at a minor hockey game earlier this month.
An argument that started in the stands ended with police showing up at Darlington Sports Centre.
Global News obtained a video of a fight from Jan. 17 after a bantam AE hockey game between rivals Clarington and Ajax.
The altercation started in the stands.
“That got physical, it turned into a fight, it spilled out into the lobby and multiple people were involved,” said Dave Selby, Durham Regional Police Service.
Police were called to the Clarington arena around 9 pm.
Police said a 59-year-old grandfather and a 48-year-old Clarington woman were struck with a mini stick, while a woman punched another woman several times.
“We’ve charged four adults with assault. One individual got a charge of assault with a weapon times two. He was seen attacking two people with a mini stick,” said Selby.
Global News contacted a number of people who witnessed the fight but they didn’t want to go on camera.
Clarington Toros Minor Hockey Association president Gerry Owens responded with this statement: “This was an unfortunate isolated incident, and we thank Durham Regional Police Services for their assistance, and in preventing further escalation of the situation.”
“As a precaution, following the incident, the Clarington Minor Hockey executives held meetings with both parents and players, and we also worked with the Ajax Minor Hockey Association to implement additional safeguards to monitor subsequent games. The playoffs have since continued without incident.”
School and clinical psychologist Heidi Kiefer says fights in the stands are becoming more frequent and can have a negative effect on the kids.
“Parents and family members and those adults are supposed to be role models as well. So when there is conflict, children are seeing the way it’s being handled is through aggression and furthering the conflict rather than dealing with it in a calm, positive manner,” said Kiefer.
Kiefer has some recommendations for parents and fans.
“Games can be intense, you want your children to do well and their teams to do well. But be aware that you might be triggered by certain things and to give yourself some strategies on how to deal with those intense emotions in the moment to again respond rather than react,” said Kiefer.
Police aren’t releasing the names of those charged to protect the identities of the players who are 13 and 14 years old.