It took a Pennsylvania jury 11 hours to reach a mixed-verdict in the trial of three men charged with assault for their roles in a 2017 high school hockey brawl.
As Philadelphia’s KYW reports, former Ridley High School (Folsom, Pa.) hockey players Jake Cross and Brock Anderson were both found guilty of simple assault and conspiracy.
Per KYW, prosecutor John Gradel said the jury apparently rejected the argument from the defense that such brawls were “part of the game.”
“Punching somebody in the back of the head while they’re trying to skate away from you, it has no business in hockey,” Gradel said. “And it’s the text book definition of simple assault – it’s a crime.”
According to KYW, Cross and Anderson were each sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service. A third player, Ryan Gricco, was found not guilty of conspiracy, but the jury deadlocked on his count of simple assault.
The trial stemmed from a March 2017 incident in the Flyers Cup Class 2A quarterfinals. With Central Bucks West (Doylestown, Pa.) leading at the time, 7-1, video from the event shows four Ridley players come out on the ice and start fighting their opponents. C.B. West player Shawn Philipps was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital for a broken nose.
Per KYW, the judge told the men there’s a line between athletics and unlawful conduct, adding that he wants high school athletes to realize conduct like this is not okay.