Shocking footage of a hockey coach, tripping a 13-year-old player after a game Saturday afternoon, leaving the boy with a broken wrist, went viral after being played on You Tube sparking outrage from parents and the minor hockey community.
RCMP recommends assault charges against the adult B.C. hockey coach, who appeared to have purposely tripped the 13-year-old player from the opposing team.
The incident happened Saturday at Thunderbird Arena on the University of British Columbia campus, where Steel and Hornets were playing.
“As the teams shook hands after the game, a 13-year-old player from Richmond fell to the ice, prompting accusations and a call to the police. The coach was arrested. Charges will be forwarded at a later date, pending the results of the investigation.” Sgt. Paulena Gidda of the RCMP, which polices the campus, said to reporters.
Gidda said the coach, who is in his 40s, was later released. “Investigators are now reviewing witness statements and video of the incident,” she said.
The minor hockey community is in shock over the incident, as is everyone else who saw that video.
“I don’t ever want to see that coach on a bench behind kids ever again,” said Richmond Steel team manager Tammy Hohlweg of the man coaching the Hornets, who won Saturday’s game 5-4. “It’s just horrible that a coach would go after a child like that and what’s even more horrible is that his team won. We were the losing team and that guy still went after our kid.” She said to reporters.
The footage, shot by a parent of a Steel player, shows the two teams preparing to shake hands following the game. The coach, wearing a black jacket and beige pants, can be seen moving down the line before sticking out his right foot.
A player in a blue Steel jersey is then seen falling, causing a second player to go down as well. The Hornets coach is then seen giving the middle finger to those yelling from the bleachers.
A Hornets player is also caught on camera throwing a water bottle at the bleachers while others on his team applaud and gesture with their arms open.
According to Hohlweg, whose son also plays on the team, the incident emphasizes the importance of communication between parents and hockey associations.
“I think we have to be aware of what our coaches are doing. And parents- when they see incidents like this- need to bring it forward,” she said.
While she couldn’t speak for the Hornets’ coach or their association, she noted her own organization- the Richmond Minor Hockey Association- which requires coaches to undergo criminal record checks every year.
She also expressed concern for the actions seen from the other team’s players, who are between the ages of 10 and 13.
“It just goes to show how much influence a coach has on those kids. At Richmond Minor Hockey, that kind of stuff is stopped. We don’t tolerate it at all,” Hohlweg noted. “You’ll see the kids start acting like the coach and you can’t blame the kids because the person they look up to is doing it, too.”
The boy’s mother also expressed disappointment in the coach’s behaviour. “With that kind of a temper, maybe he shouldn’t be around kids. It’s just a game” she said.
No one has yet, issued a statement on behalf of the Hornets.