Referee assaulted at youth hockey match; relative of 10-year-old player charged

LETHBRIDGE, Alberta, Canada (CBC News/CNN) - One Canadian man is already facing assault charges and another soon could be after a reported verbal spat between a 10-year-old hockey player and a referee escalated.

Police say that at the end of a three-on-three youth hockey game Sunday, a 10-year-old player got into an argument with a 51-year-old referee. The referee told the boy to leave the ice.

But the incident escalated when the boy allegedly struck the referee twice with his stick. The official then pushed the 10-year-old down.

In a cell phone video that surfaced on Twitter, a group of five people, including coaches and a relative of the 10-year-old, can be seen approaching the referee.

The boy’s relative, later identified as 55-year-old Robert Creighton, allegedly chased the official across the ice before tackling him and punching him repeatedly. A 36-year-old man is believed to have also participated in the fight.

In addition, the two men allegedly knocked down a coach from the opposing team.

Police have charged a 55-year-old male and additional charges are pending against a 36-year-old male after a referee and...

Posted by Lethbridge Police Service on Monday, September 9, 2019

Creighton was charged with assault. Police say charges are pending against the 36-year-old suspect.

No charges are being laid against the referee.

The 10-year-old boy was not injured during the incident.

The annual three-on-three tournament, organized by High Performance Hockey, involved players between the ages of seven and 12.

“Actions like this have no place in our game. The Quest for the Cup tournament is an opportunity for players to enjoy the game of hockey with their friends. For that reason, we are especially disappointed to see an act like this occur,” said the company on social media.

Earlier today, an altercation occurred at our Quest for the Cup tournament. This incident is receiving significant...

Posted by High Performance Hockey (HPH) on Sunday, September 8, 2019

Creighton has been released and is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 9.

Copyright 2019 CBC News, Twitter/Dean Millard via CNN. All rights reserved.