WOODSTOCK, Ont. — A 17-year-old hockey player has been charged with assault causing bodily harm in connection with an on-ice incident during a game earlier this year in Woodstock, Ont., police said Wednesday.
Police say they received a criminal complaint on Jan. 14 alleging that a player was assaulted by another player during a hockey game in the city the previous day.
Video of the game was reviewed and witnesses interviewed, and police say the Crown attorney’s office was also consulted about whether charges could be laid “in the forum of a hockey game.”
“We are very well aware the subject of this investigation has garnered intense public attention across Canada and we respect there are passionate opinions on both sides of the physical aspect of hockey,” said Woodstock police Chief Rod Freeman.
“The decision to lay a criminal charge was not taken lightly and was based on an objective review of the evidence, including video evidence, and on factually based legal opinions from the Crown attorney’s office.”
The 17-year-old who is charged cannot be identified under provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
He’s to appear in court in Woodstock on July 11.
Like to hear some opinions. Two basic schools of thought here:
1. He instigated the events by being unsportsmanlike through snowing the goaltender of a losing team and proceeded to not defend himself. You can't poke the bear and then cry victim.
2. What lead to the altercation is irrelevant. The actions taken on by the opposing teams player have no place in or outside a rink. The assault was excessive and he should be charged accordingly.