Sucker-punching Rangers fan, MSG sued by Lightning supporter

The thug who sucker punched two people on his way out of Madison Square Garden after a New York Rangers game in June was “ossified and belligerent,” one of his victims proclaimed in a lawsuit.

James Anastasio, 29, pleaded guilty in September to assault and was sentenced to anger management for slugging a man in a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey as the crowd left the Garden after the Blueshirts’ 3-1 playoffs loss to the Bolts.

The incident quickly went viral, with a clip of the Tampa fan being knocked out cold lighting up social media. As Anastasio tried to flee, he struck another man who tried to stop him. The Rangers fan was quickly banned from MSG for life.

Now Joseph Urciuoli of Connecticut is suing Anastasio and the World’s Most Famous Arena for negligence, claiming he was one of those struck by the Staten Island man.

Madison Square Garden entrance
The World’s Most Famous Arena is also being sued over the June assault.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Urciuoli was injured “when he was viciously assaulted, attacked and/or struck in the face and head by the ossified and belligerent patron … James Anastasio,” he charged in court papers.

Urciuoli accuses MSG of having inadequate security and for allowing Anastasio to become intoxicated, according to the Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

“None of us should be judged on our worst 30 seconds,” Anastasio’s criminal lawyer, Jason Goldman, said. “He is grateful to learn from this experience without having to spend a single day in jail. While I’m not surprised to learn of this civil suit, it is clearly a last-ditch, money-grab effort against the Garden.”

man kneeling, checking on unconscious person
Other New York Rangers fans check on Tampa Bay Lightning supporter who was knocked out cold.

man on ground after punch, man standing over him
James Anastasio after his sucker punch left a man unconscious.

There were nearly 200 uniformed MSG guards and supervisors, along with 20 NYPD personnel, at the venue for the game, according to the arena, which called the incident “abhorrent” and noted it cooperated with law enforcement for a successful prosecution in the case.

“Our immediate focus was ensuring that the victims received appropriate medical care and that the assailant was taken into custody — which happened in under 30 seconds,” a Madison Square Garden spokeswoman said in a statement.

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