A Riverside youth hockey coach, who according to court papers was swinging a hockey stick "like a baseball bat," surrendered to Buffalo police Friday on charges that he assaulted a young man in last weekend's wild brawl outside the North Buffalo Ice Rink.
Allen Shubbuck, 28, of Laird Avenue pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before City Judge Shirley Troutman. He is being represented by attorney Paul J. Cambria Jr.'s office.
Shubbuck surrendered to Northwest District detectives Friday morning on an arrest warrant charging him with first-degree assault.
He is accused of swinging the hockey stick that struck Corey McCarthy, 18, in the head during the Saturday evening brawl outside the rink on Tacoma Avenue. McCarthy, a spectator from North Buffalo, remains in serious condition in the Erie County Medical Center with a severe head injury.
Court papers filed Friday include claims by two witnesses that Shubbuck, listed at 6 foot 2 inches and over 250 pounds, struck McCarthy with the stick.
"I saw some of the kids from the Riverside team hitting Corey with their fists in the head," one witness from the North Buffalo group told police. "I could see that Corey was somewhat stunned. After that, I saw the coach, who I know as Allen Shubbuck of the Riverside team, with a hockey stick in his hand and (he) hit Corey in the face. Corey then dropped to the ground. Other friends that I was with went to Corey's aid, and that's when a big fight broke out."
Other witnesses have told police that McCarthy stumbled into the lobby of the rink, where first aid was summoned for him.
Another witness, according to court
papers, claimed that the fight began after a Riverside player came up to his car and asked, "Were you one of the kids that was in there?" Then, according to that witness, the player used a hockey stick to strike the car on the driver's side door.
"I then saw the Riverside coach with a hockey stick in his hand hitting someone . . . in the head, swinging the stick like a baseball bat," this witness stated. "The person that was hit I then saw drop to the ground."
The brawl, following an Explorer Hockey League game between the Riverside and McKinley teams of high-school-aged players, pitted Riverside players and some adults against mostly teen-age spectators from North Buffalo.
Shubbuck has been identified previously as a coach with the Riverside team, which consists of players from Riverside Institute of Technology, Lafayette, Grover Cleveland and da Vinci high schools.
Roughly 15 to 20 people engaged in the melee outside the rink, with some of them swinging hockey sticks and at least one smaller-sized baseball bat. Six people were injured, including one Riverside player and five people believed to be with the North Buffalo group of spectators.
Northwest District detectives, sifting through the conflicting claims from eyewitnesses, still have not identified the aggressors in the brawl.
Both sides have agreed that the incident began when some North Buffalo fans started taunting the Riverside goalie about a personal matter during the game. Angry words were exchanged after the game. When the Riverside team and some of its adult followers left the rink, they clashed with the North Buffalo group.
Top police officials Friday credited Detective Martin Bayerl, helped by Detective Sgt. Daniel Derenda and other officers, with cracking the complicated case.
"This is a very convoluted investigation because of the various eyewitnesses and the fact that you had so many people on each side seeing different things," Chief of Patrol Lawrence M. Ramunno said.