By Delon Shurtz on June 12, 2021.
A Coalhurst man admits his anger clouded his judgment when he assaulted a referee during a hockey tournament in Lethbridge in September 2019.
“I let my anger get away from me,” Todd William Cross Child admitted Friday in Lethbridge provincial court, where he attended by telephone and pleaded guilty to one count of assault.
Cross Child, 38, was helping coach the team for which his nephew played. At the end of a game Cross Child’s nephew, who was 10 years old at the time, had a “verbal exchange” with the ref, David Schindel. The exchange became physical, during which the ref pushed the player to the ice, and the player struck the ref’s legs with his hockey stick.
Cross Child and the boy’s grandfather, Robert Creighton, who was also helping coach the team, saw the exchange, and saw the boy strike his head on the ice after he was pushed by the referee. They confronted Schindel, who raised his hands toward Cross Child just before he was attacked.
Crown Prosecutor Dawn Janecke said Cross Child grabbed the ref by his torso and pulled him to the ice, causing his helmet to come off. The ref then went into a “turtling position,” while he was attacked.
“Cross Child held onto Schindel while Creighton punched Schindel around the head and neck at least three times as he is turtled on the ground,” Janecke explained.
The three men got up off the ice after spectators intervened. The ref sustained a few scrapes, but was not seriously injured.
Cross Child, who court was told has a criminal record that includes two assaults, was given a four-month conditional sentence that he can serve in the community, during which he will be subject to a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. every day. He will also be on probation for eight months following the conclusion of his sentence.
Cross Child apologized for his actions, and said he should have called police instead of taking matters into his own hands.
“I did not set a good example for the boys of either team, especially my own team,” Cross Child said. “I assure you it will not happen again.”
Creighton was also charged with assault, and his matter is expected to be resolved, as well, when he returns to court next week.
Follow @DShurtzHerald on Twitter