A man and a woman were arrested for assault at the Winnipeg Jets game Tuesday night, after three other people were injured, including a spectator who tried to help security officers and ended up with a bleeding head from a fall into the boards, police say.
A 34-year-old man from Winnipeg and a 28-year-old woman from The Pas face multiple charges, police said Wednesday.
The events, which happened around 9 p.m., caused such a commotion that players from the Jets and Colorado Avalanche stood on the ice watching the fracas.
Videos and photographs were posted to social media showing the skirmish, which police say was likely fuelled by alcohol.
Security staff at Canada Life Centre, the Jets’ downtown home rink, were called to a section of the arena’s lower bowl to deal with a disturbance.
The man and woman were unco-operative and assaulted the security staff, a 50-year-old woman and 36-year-old man, police said in a news release.
Up close <a href=”https://t.co/6DBvohiuPk”>pic.twitter.com/6DBvohiuPk</a>
Both were assaulted and suffered minor upper-body injuries, police said. They received medical attention at the scene.
During the struggle between security and the two combative fans, other people attending the game stepped in to help. One of them, a 54-year-old man, was assaulted, police said.
He and the 34-year-old man creating the disturbance lost their balance on the stairs and fell, and the 54-year-old’s head hit the rink boards.
The 34-year-old got up and walked back up the stairs but the other man, whose head was cut, lay in place while other people tended to him.
The 54-year-old was taken to hospital for treatment.
‘Never seen anything like this’: fan
Police officers arrived, put the two unruly fans in handcuffs and escorted them from the stands. While being taken away, the woman spat at one of the officers, police said.
The arresting officers used a spit mask to prevent her from doing it again.
Police said the victims didn’t know the two people arrested, who were wearing Avalanche gear in a game where that team lost 5-0.
Both face charges of assault and resisting a peace officer, while the woman also faces the charge of assaulting a peace officer.
After clocking a <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLJets?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#NHLJets</a> fan in the front row (who ended up bleeding out after smashing his head on the dasher-board), this Avs fan was dragged out of <a href=”https://twitter.com/CanadaLifeCtr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@CanadaLifeCtr</a> in handcuffs while cackling to fans along the way. <a href=”https://t.co/hW56iXQzdz”>pic.twitter.com/hW56iXQzdz</a>
Jeremiah Kornelsen, who was sitting in the row behind the aggressive pair, says the incident was scary and left him shaken.
“I’ve never seen anything like this at any event, really, in the city, whether its a Bomber game or a concert or whatever,” he told CBC on Wednesday.
“Obviously people get intoxicated all the time, and usually they just get asked to leave and they leave. This was a lot more.”
It’s expected the people involved will be banned for life from future events and facilities run by True North Sports and Entertainment — which owns and operates both the Jets and Canada Life Centre — director of corporate communications Krista Sinaisky said in an email.
In the meantime, True North is focusing on working with police and providing care to the employees and spectators who were impacted by the fight, she added.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.