WINDSOR - Windsor Spitfires head coach Bob Jones is being investigated by police for an alleged beating of a 19-year-old outside a bar in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie early Saturday morning.
But Windsor GM Warren Rychel issued a release Thursday that indicated Jones was the victim, not the aggressor, of an assault in which the Spits' first-year bench boss had his Memorial Cup ring stolen.
"I'm confident a thorough police investigation will reveal that five unruly, angry young men unexpectedly confronted Bob Jones while he waited for a taxicab to take him to his hotel room," the statement said. "All five men appeared to be under the influence of alcohol."
Const. Paul Gravel of the Sault Police department told the Windsor Star an investigation is underway into the altercation that is said to have left a teen with a broken jaw. Jones indicated he had no knowledge of any such injury.
The 41-year-old Jones was said to have gone to Docks nightclub after the Spitfires defeated the Soo Greyhounds 4-2 and was mocked by a group of young men at a nearby table for being dressed in a suit and made mention of his ring. At the end of the night, there was a disagreement over who was entitled to a cab outside and a fight ensued.
"As he (Jones) walked away one of the five men followed behind him saying that he better be careful or he would be dead," the Rychel statement said. "Both Jones and his attacker went to the ground ... several others jumped on top and kicked Bob Jones several times."
A Spitfires staff member is said to have pulled the main attacker off Jones.
Rychel wrote that Jones didn't make a police complaint about the ring theft to avoid media attention that might affect the Spitfires team during a "crucial time of the season."
Jones was behind the bench for Windsor's game against the rival London Knights Thursday night at the WFCU Centre.
"(We) stand behind our head coach without hesitation and reservation," Rychel wrote.
Jones, a former Greyhounds captain, took over the Spitfires' reins after serving as an assistant to Bob Boughner the previous three seasons. He has also worked in the OHL with Sudbury, Toronto St. Michael's, Brampton and the Soo.
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