MSG bans fan for life after he sucker-punched Lightning supporter

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The New York Rangers' parent company punished a fan for attacking a spectator wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey after Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.

"(On Thursday 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," Madison Square Garden said in a statement.

"First, we ensured the victims received appropriate medical care and have followed up to provide support from our guest services team," the facility's statement continued. "Equally important, we are cooperating fully with law enforcement as this is now a criminal matter."

The Garden said the fan in question is banned for life from all venues the company operates.

Twitter user Scott Kaplan captured video of the incident, in which a fan in a red shirt can be seen striking a person in a Lightning sweater with an unexpected punch to the face as the crowd filed out of the building. The victim laid motionless as he was attended to by other fans.

Police said James Anastasio, a 29-year-old Rangers fan, threw the punch, according to WTSP's Claire Farrow. The Lightning fan was knocked unconscious but is now in stable condition, law enforcement added.

Anastasio was charged with two counts each of assault, disorderly conduct, and harassment.

A witness tried to stop Anastasio from leaving, at which point the latter punched the witness in the face as well, according to police. The witness was bruised and in pain but refused medical treatment.

"All guests - no matter what team they support - should feel safe and respected in The Garden," MSG's statement said. "This has and always will be our policy."

MSG bans fan for life after he sucker-punched Lightning supporter
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