A victim of a sucking fist attack at the world-famous arena on Thursday night said the suspect and his friend were the instigators of the problem.
Staten Island man James Anastasio, 29, was identified by authorities as the man seen in a viral video that launched an unexpected attack on a Lightning fan after a playoff game, which New York lost.
In an interview with the New York Post, the 37-year-old victim who tried to intervene following the original punch suggested that Anastasio was also a victim.
Good Samaritan said he was walking out of a luxury suite when he saw Anastasio and a friend wearing Tampa jerseys trying to fight with someone “before that happened.”
The victim described the man in the video as “moving” with a T-shirt in Anastasio’s pocket.
James Anastasio was shown in court on Friday night after being arrested for brutally punching a rival fan in a New York Rangers game on Thursday.
The suspect has been released on bail and is only in court on June 29
He said the man at the receiving end of the sucking fist was also hit by a can of beer. The man “did nothing wrong,” according to another victim.
He continued: ‘What you see in the video is exactly how they acted for five minutes up to that point. When I saw them, I was sure they were wild all the time. It was pre-planned in my mind. ‘
When asked about the claim by Anastasio’s lawyer, Jason Goldman, that the suspect had tried to spread the word, another victim said: “Humor.”
Goldman said: ‘We believe that garden surveillance will confirm the immediate occurrence of short, viral clips captured on cellphone cameras. James repeatedly tried to alleviate the situation, where he was outnumbered and eventually threatened by a group of highly addicted people. ‘
The suspect’s lawyer continued: ‘Although he is anxious to reveal the rest of his story, he believes and respects the court process. We are confident that James will be cleared once all the facts come out. ‘
Anastasio was released on probation after pleading not guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday night. According to the Post, Anastasio told a reporter on Saturday: ‘I’m fine. I’m fine. ‘
His father, James Anastasio, also told the Post that his son did not know what had happened. Maybe you should call another guy and ask him. What do you think about it Maybe you should ask him what he said to get someone to do that. ‘
Anastasio told police after his arrest that he feared going viral after being captured on camera: “Oh, it could be on the Internet.”
He was arrested Thursday night and appeared in court for the first time since the night before, wearing the same red Rangers shirt and gray sweatpants.
Anastasio will appear in court on June 29.
The viral video shows Anastasio in a red turn to punch a Lightning fan in blue as he exits Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
Lightning Fan was out of the cold but refused to be treated at the scene when he regained consciousness.
It is not clear what prompted Anastasio to snap. Video shows Lightning walking to Concours in Madison Square Garden after defeating Rangers.
Lightning fan was seen shouting some slogans to insult the rival fan. Anastasio was walking out of the scene with a friend when he returned and punched him.
He then fled the scene after being surrounded by dozens of concerned fans. In the video, one can be heard saying ‘he is dead’.
According to Center Ice Hockey’s tweet, the victim is a lifelong Tampa fan named Alex.
Team CEO Steve Griggs has met Alex and promised to send him a bunch of playoff swag.
The brother, who did not want to be named, told NBC: ‘We were trying to get out of there like everyone else, and then suddenly a beer was thrown at us and my brother and I parted. In that second
‘Another thing I know, I looked around, I heard a knock on the floor and my brother was sleeping there.
‘Joke. You can listen to the video. I will never make that sound out of my head. My brother’s head hit the ground. ‘
The victim was refused treatment after regaining consciousness. She and her brother returned to Florida on Friday morning.
A witness, Corey Brill, told WTSP that Alex was confused after the attack. Brill told him: ‘I was like,’ I don’t know you, I think I should tell you, you should suppress the charges, you were attacked. ‘
Anastasio’s father told the New York Post the night before that he could not defend his son’s actions.
Anastasio, who appeared in court last night, had been wearing a Ranger shirt and sweatpants since Thursday’s game.
Anastasio appears to have arrived at the New York City Criminal Court after an unexpected attack
‘Sometimes choices result in our lives. There is nothing to protect. That is what it is. We’ll wait for him to come home, we’ll pick him up, and all is well. Tomorrow is a new day. ‘
The suspect lives in Salamander Court, near Charleston on Staten Island.
The suspect’s landlord told NBC New York that Anastasio “did not look violent” and was shocked to see the video. The landlord said in a separate interview with the Post that someone must have ‘p *** de off’ the suspect.
Anastasio’s lawyer, Jason Goldman, had earlier told DailyMail.com in a statement: “We are in the early stages of gathering and learning all the facts.”
“For now, we want to assure James that his family will be released on time, then we will focus our attention on him in court,” he added.
The garden’s management said in a statement on Friday that Anastasio’s “attacker” would be banned from the scene for life.
“Last night, at the end of the game, there was a vicious attack on a Tampa Bay fan – then a second attack on a man who bravely intervened,” the statement said.
“All guests – no matter which team they support – should feel safe and respected in the garden,” the site added.
Garden management said the attacking fan was provided with medical care and would receive continued support from its guest service team.
Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers are battling it out in the third round of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden.
Thursday’s game was Game 5 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals, and the Lightning beat the Rangers 3-1.
Andrej Platt’s tip-in broke the remaining tie at the 1:50 rule after the New York trade.
Tampa Bay secured their third consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup final with a 2-1 win over Rangers on Saturday night.
In the postseason, Lightning drew 6-1 at home, while the Rangers entered the sixth elimination game with a 2-7 road mark in the playoffs.
Tensions were running high on the ice in Thursday’s game, which escalated into a fight between the players after the final horn.
Lighting star Nikita Kucherov made a meaningless attack on Rangers defender Adam Fox, leaving both teams with their fists on.
Coming out of the third consecutive defeat and now facing elimination in Game 6 of Saturday, Fox took the exception and took revenge by cutting off the Russian-born winger.
Kucherov was naturally dissatisfied and at the same time, several winds blew simultaneously around the ice.
The main event featured Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Rangers star Alexis Lafrenier – a pair of first overall draft picks.
The Garden incident occurred at a time when crime was high in New York City. Compared to the same period last year, the overall crime rate in 2022 has increased by almost 40 percent.
In the Big Apple, apart from murder and shootings, every violent crime has increased by 19 percent, robbery by 32 percent and robbery by 39 percent.
Sporadic attacks are also on the rise in New York City. On May 25, a 61-year-old Brooklyn man was shot dead by an assailant while walking home.
Sporadic attacks are also on the rise in New York City. On May 25, a 61-year-old Brooklyn man was stabbed to death by an assailant while walking home.
In a video released by the NYPD, Victor Vega is seen walking with two men before the attack. He appears to be fighting on his back after being punched unconscious.
One of the two assailants, who is still at large, is seen throwing a rifle from Vega’s pocket, removing some F and then handing it to his friend.
The couple is seen walking unofficially on Vega Road.
Police have ruled him dead and are still searching for the two suspects.
For every violent crime except murder, the Big Apple also saw a significant increase in criminal attacks, burglary and robbery by 19, 32 and 39 percent, respectively.