NBCPhiladelphia.com - Deanna Durante
A group of Winter Classic fans got in a fight outside of Geno's Steaks in South Philly after the game. The fight was caught on camera, posted to YouTube and later taken down. Authorities are searching for the people involved.
A graphic video posted to YouTube late Monday night -- and later removed -- shows the uglier side of some NHL Winter Classic fans that left one man hospitalized.
The video is of men in Flyers jerseys and Rangers jerseys -- some who were in town to see the teams play in the Winter Classic -- fighting outside famous South Philly cheesesteak shop Geno’s Steaks and was posted on the same day the two storied franchises faced off in the Winter Classic.
WARNING: The removed video titled “Winter Classic 2012, Rangers fan knocked out” contains graphic violence and language as does another angle of the same fight that was posted to YouTube Tuesday by Barstool Sports: Boston.
Philadelphia Police say one of the victims alerted them about the fight but cops were unaware video of the incident was posted online until NBC Philadelphia gave them the heads up.
On Wednesday night NBC New York confirmed that one of the victim's was an off-duty Woodbridge, N.J. (Middlesex County) police officer and Iraq War veteran. The officer was later identified as Neal Auricchio.
Auricchio was in Philly Thursday to talk to police about the incident.
The video was shot around 7:15 p.m. Monday -- just after the Winter Classic ended, police said.
The argument between the hockey fans reportedly began after one of the Flyers fans allegedly paid a man washing windows to spray a Rangers fan.
"The Ranger fan jumped up and grabbed the male upon which the Flyers fans grabbed the Rangers fan, assaulted him, knocked him to the ground unconscious," said police Capt. Larry Nodiff.
The original video was removed from YouTube but not before NBCPhiladelphia.com got a good look at it.
The video begins with what appears to be a Flyers fan wearing a No. 28 Claude Giroux Flyers jersey taking off his coat as he goads on a fan in a No. 24 Ryan Callahan Rangers jersey -- supposedly the off-duty cop.
Suddenly the Flyers fan swings at the Rangers fan and a melee ensues right in the middle of the street between Geno's and Pat's Steaks.
The Rangers fan punches back but is quickly taken to the ground where a man in a No. 68 Jaromir Jagr Flyers jersey jumps in and begins pounding the Rangers fan. Suddenly the guy in the Giroux jersey and a man in a black coat begin to punch another Rangers fan, also taking him to the ground.
The whole time another guy in a Flyers jersey tries to hold back his fellow Philly fans.
As others jump in to try and stop the fight, both Rangers fans get to their feet. The man in the Giroux jersey is being held back but appears to break away and land a loud blindside punch to the side of the head of Auricchio, dropping him to the ground.
The 47-second video ends with the Rangers fan (believed to be the off-duty officer) on the ground -- knocked out -- as the Flyers fan stands over top of him to grab his coat and go.
Police say the fan that was knocked out was later hospitalized at a North Jersey hospital with a concussion. Auricchio's father says his son had to have stitches under one of his eyes.
"We believe that people in the crowd that were with the assaulters know who was involved -- and they know the identity of who was involved -- and we would ask them to come forward," said Nodiff.
If anyone recognizes the people involved in the fight they should call South Detectives at 215-686-3013.