March 03, 2012

Parent Aims Laser Pointer at Opposing Team's Goalie: The father of a high school girl's hockey player in Medford, Mass., was caught aiming a laser pointer at the eyes of the opposing team's goalie during a playoff game. The dad was rooting for Winthrop, which beat Medway-Ashland 3-1 and had the victory upheld after an appeal. Medway-Ashland goalie Kathryn Hamer described the effects of the laser: "It's kind of like when you look at the sun and then you look away you see that spot and you can't see for a couple of seconds. You shake your head and try to get it out of the system and just keep focusing, but it's difficult." Another coach said someone flashed a laser at his goalie's eyes during a game against Winthrop a year ago.

posted by rcade to hockey at 07:18 PM - 15 comments

For today's special dad, a little lightboarding is in order.

posted by beaverboard at 07:58 PM on March 03, 2012

Or, the vertical version.

posted by beaverboard at 08:15 PM on March 03, 2012

Was it Mr. Shadowsky or Mr. O' Bannon?

posted by Ufez Jones at 08:33 PM on March 03, 2012

How in the world was that victory upheld?

posted by Adept at 11:17 PM on March 03, 2012

The coach said he would like to think he would not have accepted the win under such circumstances if his team had won? Sorry, I'm not buying.

As for how was it upheld? I don't know of any state high school associations that have provisions for protests: once a game ends, it's final unless a forfeit's declared later, such as for an ineligible player.

posted by jjzucal at 02:10 AM on March 04, 2012

Surely doing something that in some (albeit rare) cases can cause permanent eye damage is a criminal offense?

posted by Joey Michaels at 06:48 AM on March 04, 2012

I was thinking about that; I can't find anything as to if the Massachusetts government has discussed pointing any form of lasers (such as pen-type or gun-sight) as "assault."

It comes down to this: simple ban to any school activity (except the graduation); he shows up, arrest for trespassing.

posted by jjzucal at 02:46 PM on March 04, 2012

I experience much shame at this. The school involved was Winthrop High School, which is my home town and the high school from which I was graduated. Of course, things like this never happened when I was there. (Yeah, right. That's because you're so old the laser hadn't been invented yet.) The last program on which I worked required the use of lasers, most of which were much more highly powered than the hand-held device used in this case. They were also infra-red and thus not visible, which made them doubly dangerous. We were required to wear safety goggles whenever the lasers were in use, and we also had to complete a laser safety course before even being allowed into the laser lab. In the article, it notes that the lunkhead used a green laser. These are considered unsafe, their output greatly exceeding recommended limits. The green lasers are imported from Russia or China, and ought to be restricted from non-professional use, if they are not outright outlawed now. (My opinion, not that of the lab at Princeton.) Since a green laser can easily cause eye damage, the parents of the goalie ought to be considering a civil suit right now, and consider asking for criminal assault charges. Simply enough, any time you do something that might harm another person, intentionally or negligently, it is assault.

The reason the game was neither forfeited nor replayed was that the on-ice officials deemed that the laser had not had any effect on the run of play. Since the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) rules stipulate that the judgement decision of game officials cannot be overruled, the game result stands. Right or wrong, that's where it rests.

On edit, in another article on this event, I read that the dad who used the laser had a daughter on the Winthrop team. He was not merely a fan.

posted by Howard_T at 03:27 PM on March 04, 2012

Christ, what an asshole.

posted by rocketman at 07:34 PM on March 04, 2012

Why are you calling Christ an asshole? :)

posted by 67nickel at 04:59 PM on March 05, 2012

That seems like a pretty light charge to me, but I'm glad he's facing some kind of punishment.

The Winthrop boy's hockey team faced a "where's your laser?" chant in a recent playoff game. Laser dad's daughter posted this on Twitter: "Guess the cats out of the bag -- if anyone says one word about me or my family consider yourself a dead man walking. I'm not fucking around" and "niggas are just mad they lost."

posted by rcade at 09:55 AM on March 07, 2012

Clearly an all-around lovely family.

posted by yerfatma at 10:27 AM on March 07, 2012

The dad regrets the stunt: "I feel like a complete jerk. It was very stupid, completely immature for a 42-year-old man to be doing that. ... My daughter, the humiliation I put her through is sickening to tell you the truth."

Can't argue with that.

posted by rcade at 10:58 AM on March 07, 2012

I can't believe this crap made Fox News this morning. Those idiots thought it was some kind of harmless stunt. Put a green laser in their eyes for about a minute, and then you can donate for their guide dog. If the Winthrop Police Department, who seem to have become even less competent than they were in the days of my youth, would bring themselves up to date on the eye damage that can be caused by green lasers, they might upgrade the charge. Chances are they just don't want to be bothered by the work needed to actually make a case.

posted by Howard_T at 03:20 PM on March 07, 2012

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