The Niagara County Sheriff's Office is investigating a report of a fight at a local hockey arena where a referee said he was attacked by a player on the ice who didn't like his calls during a game.
Reports indicate that sheriff's deputies were called at 11:30 p.m. Friday for a report of a disturbance at the Hockey Outlet in North Tonawanda.
Deputies interviewed a referee who said he sustained minor injuries after a player skated at him on the ice and started throwing punches at him before taking him down to the ice in a chokehold. The referee told investigators that the incident happened after he called numerous penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct on the player who was later kicked out of the game. The victim reported that the players of the other team had to pull the player off of him and escort him off the ice. Reports indicated that the referee had multiple lacerations to his left hand, a contusion to his right elbow and a reported sore back. The referee denied emergency medical services when offered.
Reports indicated that deputies visited the player at his home and he reported that the referee grabbed him by the throat, causing the physical altercation where he "reacted" and took him to the ground. The player spoke about his displeasure with the official's calls during the game, but stated that the referee came at him.
No charges were filed on Friday. Investigators inquired about camera footage from inside the arena and both individuals were advised that the investigation would continue.