Two players on the Danbury Whalers hockey team were arrested after pushing a security guard to the ground during a melee that erupted during a game against the Watertown Wolves in New York on Monday night, according to police.
Whalers forward Luke Patrick Warner, 21, of New Milford, and defender Steve Vontrel Brown, 26, of Spring Lake, North Carolina, are facing harassment charges after the incident at the hockey arena on the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds at 600 William T. Field Drive in Watertown, New York. During a brawl, Warner grabbed security guard Joseph Murtha by the throat and Brown pushed him to the ground, police said.
This video published on the Watertown Daily Times website show a noisy scene as security guards separate Whalers players and fans and escort the team out of the crowd.
Watertown police told the newspaper that a brawl ensued after a Wolves fan pushed an un-uniformed player on the Danbury team. That caused the Whalers to empty the bench and rush to help, the newspaper reported, citing Erin E. Gardnery, superintendent of the Watertown, New York parks and recreation department.
Police told the newspaper that the Wolves fan who instigated the fight will be charged, but his name has not been released.
Danbury Whalers CEO Herm Sorcher did not witness the fight, but told NBC Connecticut that "Maybe one fan said the wrong thing or did something they shouldn’t have been doing and it just escalated."
"I don’t know why the fan did that," he said. "Hockey is a very passionate enthusiastic, hard hitting energetic game. Maybe a fan watching a playoff game just got too enthusiastic and too much a part of the action."
There is no word on whether there were any injuries.
Police charged both Warner and Brown with second-degree harassment charges. They are both due in court in Watertown, New York on April 22 at 11 a.m.
The Danbury Whalers, a professional minor league hockey team, are an affiliate of The Evansville Icemen ECHL AA hockey league team.