A New York Rangers fan viciously cold-cocked an unsuspecting Tampa Bay Lightning fan -- and then punched a Good Samaritan who tried to grab him -- following the Blueshirts' playoff loss Thursday night, June 9 at the Madison Square Garden.
A now-viral Twitter video shows James Anastasio, age 29, of Staten Island spinning around and throwing a haymaker left as fans filed out of MSG after the Lightning's 3-1 Stanley Cup semifinal victory in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series.
The punch knocked the victim out cold.
Shouts for security were heard as some Ranger fans rushed to assist him while others chased Anastasio -- who punched one of them in the face, as well, witnesses said.
The NYPD was there in a flash, nabbing Anastasio and summoning an ambulance for the unconscious Tampa Bay fan.
The second victim refused medical treatment despite bruises and pain, they said.
Anastasio was charged with two counts each of assault, harassment and disorderly conduct, the NYPD said.
Madison Square Garden management said it banned Anastasio for life.
“Last night, an abhorrent assault took place against a Tampa Bay fan at the conclusion of the game — followed by a second assault against an individual who bravely intervened,” MSG said in a statement Friday. “First, we ensured the victims received appropriate medical care and have followed up to provide support from our guest services team.”
“All guests — no matter what team they support — should feel safe and respected in The Garden. This has and always will be our policy.”
Tampa Bay leads the series three games to two. Game 6 is in Tampa Bay on Saturday, June 11 at 8 p.m.
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