Two men convicted for their roles in high school hockey brawl; third found not guilty

Jim Melwert
November 16, 2018 - 5:31 pm
From left: Ryan Gricco, Jake Cross and Brock Anderson

Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- It took a jury in Montgomery County 11 hours to reach a mixed-verdict in the trial of three men charged with assault for their roles in a 2017 on-ice, high-school hockey brawl. 

Former Ridley High School hockey players Jake Cross and Brock Anderson were both found guilty of simple assault and conspiracy.

Prosecutor John Gradel says the jury apparently rejected the argument from the defense that this was just part of the game.

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“Punching somebody in the back of the head while they’re trying to skate away from you, it has no business in hockey," Gradel said. "And it’s the text book definition of simple assault – it’s a crime.”

Cross and Anderson were each sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service.

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A third player, Ryan Gricco, was found not guilty of conspiracy, but the jury deadlocked on his count of simple assault.

It all stems from a quarterfinals game in the Flyers Cup tournament. Ridley was losing 7-1 when they went after players from Central Bucks West, punching some players who were not trying to fight back and were defenseless on the ice.

The judge told the men there’s a line between athletics and unlawful conduct, adding this is a serious crime and wants high school athletes to realize conduct like this is not okay.