MIDTOWN, Manhattan (WPIX) — A spokesperson for NYC’s Madison Square Garden says a Rangers fan who punched two men in the face after Thursday’s playoff game has been banned from all MSG venues for life.
James Anastasio, 29, sucker-punched the first man in the face in an unprovoked attack as hockey fans left the arena after the game around 11 p.m., according to authorities. Video of the attack showed the victim, who was wearing the jersey of the opposing Tampa Bay Lightning, falling to the floor and losing consciousness.
Anastasio tried to run away but was stopped by a 37-year-old witness, police said. Anastasio retaliated and punched him in the face as well, according to cops. The eyewitness suffered bruising on his face but refused medical attention at the scene.
Officers arrived at the scene and arrested Anastasio, officials said. The Staten Island resident was charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and harassment.
A spokesperson for Madison Square Garden told Nexstar’s WPIX that its guest services team has followed up to provide support to the victims. They also said Anastasio will be banned from Madison Square Garden and all other MSG venues for life.
The Rangers lost to the Lightning, the defending Stanley Cup champions, 3-1 on Thursday night. The Lightning now lead the Eastern Conference finals 3-2. The teams will meet again Saturday in Tampa Bay.
This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press.