NEWS

Linesman Accused Of Assaulting Teen Hockey Player

12/29/2011 06:02 EST | Updated 02/28/2012 05:12 EST
alamy

An alleged assault by an adult linesman on a high school hockey player is being investigated by RCMP in Woodstock, N.B.

According to an eyewitness, the incident occurred following a Dec. 7 game between the Woodstock High School Thunders and Carleton North. Words were exchanged between the linesmen and Grade 12 forward Craig Cluff when the player was being taken to the penalty box for cross-checking.

Terry Mann, stepfather to one of the other Woodstock players, said the linesman skated away from the box, but then returned.

"The player was sitting there, then the linesman skated back again and said something into the glass, and our player jumped up against the glass," said Mann.

The assault allegedly happened after the game, as the team exited, he said.

"The linesmen usually go out another exit, but they didn't [that night]. The linesman [in question] shot down our runway and pushed his way past a few of our players, and then grabbed one player from the back through the facemask and pulled his head back, trying to get at him," Mann said.

"And then at that point they went under my feet in the tunnel and just all the players came to the rescue, I suppose, of that one player, I guess. And after that it was just a mess of parents trying to get down there and separate people," he said.

Cluff said his injuries felt worse the morning after the altercation.

"I felt it under my jaw first. It was just too sore to touch. And then the next morning when I woke up, the bridge of my nose was sore, and my eye," he said.

The teen's father, Doug Cluff, said he's not interested in letting the incident go.

"Ultimately, my son was assaulted and I'd like to see something happen," he said.

He said it's not the injuries that concern him, but that it was an adult game official who punched his teenage son.

"On-ice altercations are one thing, with players amongst players, but I've never seen this before," he said.

The Cluffs said they have been told by a lawyer to not talk about what happened.

RCMP Cpl. Stephen Dibblee said an investigation is underway.

"Interviews are still being done with participants and any witnesses who may have witnessed the event. We hope to have that concluded in the next couple of weeks. At that point we will be able to make a determination about whether any charges will be recommended to the Crown," he said.

CBC News was unsuccessful in trying to reach linesman James Langille.

The New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association declined to speak about incident.