VIDEO: NY Rangers Fan Accused of Sucker-Punching Lightning Fan After Playoff Loss

New York Rangers center Frank Vatrano (77) and Tampa Bay Lightning center Anthony Cirelli,
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

A New York Rangers fan was accused of punching a Tampa Bay Lightning fan after a playoff game Thursday, and video footage showed bystanders watching in total shock.

“Tampa scored twice in the last five minutes to seal a 3-1 victory over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden and take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference final series,” NBC New York reported Friday.

When the game concluded, fans were leaving and video footage posted late Thursday night appeared to show a Rangers fan punch a Tampa fan in the jaw.

The person in the blue jersey hit the floor and appeared not to move as others gathered around him. One man patted his face in an attempt to wake him.

WARNING – Graphic Video:

“Security! Security!” people called out as the crowd moved around the man. “The dude in the red shirt is the fucking one who hit him,” someone near the camera said.

Social media users commented on the video, one person writing, “Cringe. It’s a fucking hockey game. Embarrassing to do that lmao.”

“As I was walking out I saw them arresting someone in a red shirt after rangers fans were point [sic] him out. Didn’t realize this was why,” another replied.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) told NBC a witness tried to detain the suspect, who also punched him.

Things also grew heated on the ice between the Rangers and Lightning after the final buzzer for Game 5. Video footage shows team members pushing and shoving one another against the walls.

At one point, two players threw punches as referees tried to separate them:

“They’re fighting right to the end of this one,” an announcer said.

In a social media post Thursday evening, the Rangers told followers, “Final from here. On to Game 6.”

Per the NBC article, authorities eventually found James Anastasio, of Staten Island, and arrested him.

The man now faces two counts each of assault, disorderly conduct, and harassment, the outlet noted, adding the victims refused medical attention following the initial incident.

“Madison Square Garden condemned what it called the ‘abhorrent assault’ and said Anastasio would be banned from all MSG Entertainment facilities for life,” the report concluded.


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