The incident occurred after an NHL hockey game.
Madison Square Garden has banned a violent New York Rangers ice hockey fan for life after he was caught on camera knocking out a supporter of his team’s opposition, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Thursday.
As captured in the viral video that has been seen up to eight million times, the Rangers fan, later identified as James Anastasio of Staten Island, is on his way out of the iconic arena when he turns around quickly and suckerpunches the Lightning fan square on, knocking him to the ground.
While Anastasio appeared to leave the area, other gamegoers who saw Tampa Bay’s 3-1 win that evening attended to the victim.
On Friday, however, a statement from Madison Square Garden said that the fan also attacked a second punter who tried to intervene.
Local police confirmed that 29-year-old Anastasio had been arrested on two counts of assault, disorderly conduct and harassment, and that there had been a back-and-forth before Ansatasio’s punch was thrown.
While the law deals with Anastasio, however, he won’t be able to see Rangers games ever again at Madison Square Garden after it banned him for life.
— Scott Kaplan (@ScottKaplanOn) June 10, 2022
James Anastasio has been banned from MSG for life. pic.twitter.com/Mdrws3Mfgm
— Ryan Field (@RyanFieldABC) June 10, 2022
This was confirmed when the area, known as the MSG, confirmed the development in its statement and referred to the incident as an “abhorrent assault”.
“We are cooperating fully with law enforcement as this is now a criminal matter. The assailant will also be banned from The Garden and all other MSG venues for life,” the MSG added.
“All guests – no matter what team they support – should feel safe and respected in The Garden. This has and always will be our policy,” it stressed.
MSG also explained that two victims of the fallout “received appropriate medical care,” with police revealing that the Lightning fan was taken off to hospital and now remains in a stable condition while the intervening fan turned down treatment.
Due to a 2-1 defeat in Tampa Bay on Saturday, the Rangers were dumped out of the best-of-seven Conference Finals playoff series 4-2.