The referee of a youth hockey game is facing charges after physically escorting a player off the ice on Saturday, causing parents to go after him, police said.
The incident unfolded around 4 p.m. Saturday at the Champions Ice Rink at 6 Progress Drive in Cromwell.
Police said Stephen Levins, 55, of Rocky Hill, was refereeing a hockey match for 13- and 14-year-old players when he called a match penalty, requiring one player to leave the ice.
Other players on the ice at the time said the player who was asked to leave became angry and tried to take it out on the referee.
"There was a face-off and then the player got made, so he took a shot at the ref's head with the puck," said Tyler Humel of Terryville, who was playing on the opposing team.
Police said Levins then physically escorted the player off the ice, upsetting parents and teammates. Parents tried to climb onto the ice to get to Levins, and concerned spectators called 911 while others tried to get on the ice and stop the altercation.
It's not clear whether the player was pushed or dragged. Cromwell police would only say the incident went beyond the typical escort off the ice.
"If the ref did go after the kid, that's no good," said Joel Jorgensen, of Middlebury. "If he was defeinding himself, that's something else."
The players on the ice were then taken into the locker room so they didn't see the rest of the physical altercation unfold.
Levins was arrested and charged with breach of peace and risk of injury to a minor. He was released after posting $5,000 bond.
The skating center would not comment on the investigation.