VandenBussche told cop: 'You're dead'

DANIEL PEARCE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:16 AM ET

SIMCOE -- Former NHL tough-guy Ryan VandenBussche threw "one of the hardest punches I've ever seen" when he broke the nose of an OPP officer in the aftermath of a bar brawl, a police sergeant testified yesterday.

Sgt. Dean Skelding said VandenBussche "exploded" through a crowd held back by bouncers last July 3 to get at two officers handcuffing his cousin across the road from the Turkey Point Hotel.

After the punch, VandenBussche, 34, was wrestled to the ground but fought off three officers and refused instructions to calm down, even after being pepper-sprayed and zapped twice with a Taser stun gun, Skelding said.

After the second Taser, Skelding said VandenBussche remained on his back on the ground, looked up at him and said: "You're dead. I'll . . . kill you."

He was handcuffed while being Tasered a third time.

VandenBussche, a former Pittsburgh Penguin, racked up more than 700 penalty minutes in over a 10-year career that included 10 goals and 10 assists.

He faces eight charges, including three of assaulting police, in connection with last summer's fight in the hotel parking lot that involved an estimated 30 people.

Yesterday, the judge heard how a fight inside the bar involving VandenBussche's cousins, Kevin and Paul Duwyn, spilled out into the parking lot just before closing.

Fighting between the hotel's bouncers and patrons continued outside the front doors, with VandenBussche jumping in at one point, evidence was.

Police, usually stationed outside the hotel at closing during the summer, moved across the road to help break up the fight.

Officers testified yesterday they had to retreat across the road to their cruisers after the crowd grew to 100 and started yelling and taunting them. The two sides were kept apart by a line of hotel bouncers.

The trial continues.


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