A rink foreman says vengeful teenagers, angry because they weren’t allowed to watch a hockey game for free, were behind an attack that resulted in two Centennial Arena security guards being sent to hospital Saturday evening.
John Stockdale’s take on what happened came after reviewing the site’s surveillance tape and discussing the incident with police investigators Sunday afternoon.
“This is something that never happens here. It’s shocking,” he said.
A healthy crowd came out for the Sackville High-Halifax West hockey game at the Fairview arena on Saturday evening. Earlier reports of the incident indicated the building was at capacity under fire code regulations. But Stockdale says the rink was at about half capacity.
The tape shows security guards refusing about a half-dozen people and then the would-be spectators run toward the back of the building, trying to gain access through the side and back doors.
They then split into two groups. The stabbing occurs minutes after one of the boys throws two rocks through the back door window. One teenager who appears to be wearing a hooded sweatshirt charges a security guard after the guard exits the back door. The knife-wielding male ends up pushing the guard through the door where the struggle continues and stabbing allegedly occurs.
A scuffle also ensued at the front of the arena where a security guard was punched in the face. A third guard was injured by flying glass when a rock was thrown through a glass door.
Police investigators are still looking into the details of the attack.
Sgt. David Publicover of Halifax Regional Police says the assaults are disturbing.
“This is a social event, a sporting event, it’s time to have fun and cheer on your teams,” he said. “The security officers…don’t deserve to suffer anything for doing their job and trying to keep patrons safe.”
The suspects fled after the attack, but Publicover says witnesses helped responding police officers make four arrests.
The guard who was stabbed and the one injured by flying glass were treated in hospital for non-life threatening injuries and released.
The four people taken into custody were released without charges, but Publicover says the investigation is ongoing and charges may still be laid.
“The General Investigative Section…has a few more things they have to check on, speak to the victims, just some details,” said Publicover.
A Halifax Regional School Board spokesperson notes the alleged attackers appear to have no connection to either school.
“It’s unfortunate that an event outside involving people who are not associated with either school could possibly reflect badly on the students when they don’t deserve that,” said Doug Hadley. – Metro Halifax