By Paul Kurtz and Robin Rieger
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police are still hoping a video will help lead them to three men who beat up a pair of New York Rangers fans in South Philadelphia after Monday’s “Winter Classic” hockey game.
The incident took place outside Geno’s Steaks, at 9th and Passyunk, and was caught on video (see previous story).
The video shows three Flyers’ fans attacking two men wearing Rangers jerseys after witnesses say the Flyers fans paid a man washing windows to spray the New Yorkers.
One of the victims was knocked to the ground unconscious. He has been identified as 30-year-old Neil Auricchio, a Woodbridge, N.J. police officer and decorated Iraq war veteran.
“He just said that he was trying to calm things down,” says Woodbridge mayor John McCormack, a friend of the family. “You can hear him on the video saying, ‘Calm down.’ I mean, he’s trained, he’s disciplined. He’s a cop and a war veteran. That’s a certain level of discipline that most people don’t have. So he said he was just minding his own business and people were provoking him, then they attacked him.”
Auricchio, who was hospitalized with a concussion and eye injuries, spoke exclusively to Eyewitness News. Police say when they got to Geno’s, the Flyers fans apparently paid a man washing car windows to spray Auricchioand his friend. Then the fight began.
“I have blurry vision in my left eye, it was completely swollen shut initially, it’s getting better. I’m waiting for the results on my cat scan currently,” said Auricchio.
He became a cop about four years ago, after serving two terms in Iraq, where he earned a Purple Heart after being shot in the leg.
“I just want to see them suffer criminally for what they did,” he said.
Police are asking anyone who can identify the attackers to come forward.