A Pendleton man was charged after a Friday morning incident at the Amherst Pepsi Center.

Amherst police charged Charles Schmidl with endangering the welfare of a child and second-degree harassment after he reportedly had an altercation with a 10-year-old boy during the center’s open hockey skills session in the Olympic Rink.

Amherst Pepsi Center General Manager Eric Guzdek said he was not there to witness the incident, but heard several reports from eye-witnesses.

Guzdek said the boy was shooting hockey pucks in Schmidl’s direction while Schmidl was on the ice with his own child. Though Schmidl asked the boy to stop, he continued shooting pucks, hitting Schmidl in the calf, shoulder and back, Guzdek said.

“Words were exchanged,” Guzdek said. “(Schmidl) grabbed the youth by the shoulder and dragged him off the ice to our guest services.”

At that point, Guzdek received a call over the employee radio that there was an altercation going on. He said he went down to the rink and separated the parties.

Amherst police were called and issued Schmidl an appearance ticket for the charges.

Schmidl was “remorseful” about what happened, Guzdek said.

The boy involved in the incident is known to staff, he added.

“We have had a couple of incidents in the past with the youth involved,” he said. “He’s no angel, and he hasn’t been to my staff.”

Both Schmidl and the boy were told they are not welcome at the Pepsi center.

Though Gudzak described the incident as “crazy,” he said he believes it was “blown out of proportion.”

The open hockey skills sessions have been popular lately, especially yesterday morning, when the Sabres were at the Pepsi center to practice.

“Everybody’s crazed about the Sabres now,” Guzdek said. “Everybody’s skating, everyone wants to play hockey.”

Amherst police would not provide any other information about the charges against Schmidl.

Contact reporter April Amadon at 439-9222, Ext. 6251.

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