Windsor Police are urging calm as a wild post-game incident between two Junior B lacrosse teams last night resulted in officers being called and a coach getting arrested for allegedly striking an opposing player with a lacrosse stick.
The situation occurred on Wednesday night after a tense game between the Windsor Clippers and the Wallaceburg Red Devils. Indeed, below are a couple Tweets that I saw tonight that appear to be referencing the incident. It certainly sounds like Wednesday was a lively night in Windsor. (H/T @Sarahtzimas)
Youth lax is getting wild, yo! https://t.co/ngH8htoUmZ— College Crosse (@College_Crosse) June 29, 2017
You left out the part where your coach got aressted for spearing kids with a lacrosse stick.. https://t.co/Lphv0zRYqh— tank (@sarahtzimas) June 29, 2017
The rally towels served 2 purposes last night. 1) to wipe up Bushey's tears 2) to wipe our players faces after being spit on #classy— Brittany Jayne (@brittjayne) June 29, 2017
After reading those two Tweets I of course had to find out more about this whole thing, and so I started digging. (*Adjusts “Objective Journalist” hat*)
It appears everything went down around 10:00 p.m. at the Forest Glade Arena in Windsor, Ontario. Probably lost in all the commotion is the fact that Windsor won the game the game 8-11; however, there were 24 total penalties called, so it wasn’t the most fluid game ever. Indeed, 13 of the 24 total penalties were called in the final 3rd period, with four 10 minute penalties (3 unsportsmanlike & 1 slashing) called after the final whistle.
While the action during the game was heated, things really got lit outside the box, as a skirmish broke out between the two teams near the dressing rooms shortly after the game. Here’s a link from the CBC for more on the story.
Paid security is being hired and police appealing for calm after a fracas following a lacrosse game in Windsor saw pushing and shoving, chest pounding and a coach arrested for allegedly striking a teen with a goalie stick. The post-game melee occurred Wednesday night between fans and officials affiliated with the Windsor Clippers and Wallaceburg Red Devils — bitter rivals vying for a playoff series win in the Ontario Junior B Lacrosse League. Windsor police were called to Forest Glade arena about 10 p.m. and had to diffuse a "tense atmosphere," with crowds massing near the team dressing rooms, said Sgt. Steve Betteridge.
That does indeed sound tense. Witnesses told police that a Wallaceburg coach allegedly struck one of the Clippers players.
Police were told an 18-year-old had been hit with a lacrosse stick and, after speaking with witnesses and reviewing video surveillance, a member of the Red Devils' coaching staff was arrested. A 30-year-old man faces one count of assault with a weapon. The teen suffered minor injuries. "Its bad," said Windsor Clippers general manager Mike Soulliere. "It's bad for the game, I don't like to see it. I understand we have a rivalry — I get all that — but you can't cross that line."
According to Windsor Clippers general manager Mike Soulliere, “the incident was sparked during the game when a Wallaceburg player took a ‘golf-like swing’ at a Windsor player with seconds left in the game.”
Jamie Knight, a member of the Wallaceburg coaching staff, disagreed with Soulliere’s take and placed the blame on lax security at the arena and the intense nature of the rivalry. Additionally, Knight felt the Clippers were quite chippy themselves during the game, and stated "If they really want to get technical ... our players took a lot more head shots than their players did."
Other Canadian outlets have picked up on the story. I checked the Daily Mail and didn’t see it there yet, but I gotta imagine they’ll pick it up soon. The Windsor Police even posted about the incident on their Facebook page today.
WINDSOR POLICE SERVICE DAILY NEWS REPORT: THURSDAY JUNE 29, 2017 Arrest Made Following Disturbance at Lacrosse game. http://www.police.windsor.on.ca/newsroom/news-update/june/Pages/June-29-2017-Update-1.aspxPosted by Windsor Police Service on Thursday, June 29, 2017
The Windsor Police provided an important public service announcement at the bottom of their report that I think everyone should read.
The Windsor Police would like to remind the public that competitive sporting matches can often get emotional and intense, but the fair play and competition should take place during the sporting event. Competitive sport often has a contact element involved with the players, but all citizens are still bound by the law when it comes to their actions.
“All citizens are still bound by the law when it comes to their actions.” Indeed! You should always remember that sentence before you do something dumb in the heat of the moment.
The two squads will continue their playoff series on Saturday, July 1st. Thankfully there will be added security for the the next game.
Meanwhile, there will be extra security for the next Lacrosse playoff game Saturday in Wallaceburg. Speaking on AM800's the Afternoon News, Junior B Lacrosse League Commissioner Dave Vernon says precautions will be in place. "In situations like this, security police or firms be employed by the two teams for further games." He says any discipline will be handed down by the Ontario Lacrosse Association but he's worried about the impression this leaves on the public.
Stay safe out there, everybody!