COBOURG, Ont. — A Cobourg, Ont. man is facing charges after allegedly hitting a hockey coach after his son was cut from the rep hockey team.
Police said on Friday the attack happened Wednesday at the Cobourg Memorial Arena around 8 p.m. when the coach was telling the mother of a player he’d been cut from the PeeWee A/E Rep team after the teams final tryout.
"When he (the coach) went in to tell the goalie’s mother in a private room, he was assaulted from behind," said Police Chief Paul Sweet.
The coach was hit with his own helmet used by the suspect, police said.
Three goalies were trying out for two spots on the team. Although one goalie had been picked, the last spot was either between the suspect's child, or the coach's child.
The coach's picked his own son for the team. The coach took the mother into the referee’s room to inform her.
The boy’s father apparently overheard the conversation from outside the dressing room.
"The (suspect's) wife and other parents managed to get the accused out of the room and eventually out of the arena," the press release said. "During his exit, the accused was swinging a hockey stick and yelling at the coach and threats were made."
The man's wife spoke briefly on the phone on Friday and denied her husband was swinging a hockey stick.
The woman also stated she was the one that told her husband their son had been cut from the team.
"Somebody had to tell him," she said.
A parent who witnessed the verbal altercation in the hallway said a number of parents and children were shocked when the suspect came out of the dressing room.
"He came flying out of the door screaming at (the coach)," said the parent, who asked not to be identified.
The parent said she saw the suspect shout expletives at the coach and stated, "I’m going to f------ kill you." He also made derogatory remarks against the coach's son.
At that point the suspect's wife tried to control him and during the scuffle, the suspect's son tumbled over a hockey bag and fell.
"It was a horrible scene. Everyone was in utter shock," the witness said. "His wife was pushing him down the hallway and he said to his wife, 'I told you I was going to do something like this. Why did you bring me?'"
The parent said members of the Cobourg Community Hockey League were forewarned, "this man might have a reaction like this."
President of the CCHL Phil Beatty would not comment on that warning and only said, "the league (is) handling it under OMHA guidelines."
Executive director for the OMHA Richard Ropchan said he was unaware of the case.
Ropchan said off-ice acts of violence are still isolated, "but it does happen."
The suspect is also manager of another minor hockey team in Cobourg. Under OMHA guidelines the man will "automatically be suspended."
"There is a lot of emotion involved in tryouts. It looks like in this case, the parent's emotions got out of control," Ropchan said.
Although the alleged attack happened on Wednesday, police refused to give any details on the investigation until after a press release was issued Friday.
Police said they wanted to release the suspect's name, and could only do that after his bail hearing.
Richard D. Brown, 43, of Cobourg has been charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats. He was held for a bail hearing on Thursday where he was released. His next court appearance is on September 15 in Cobourg Court.