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Report: Philly police issue arrest warrant for Winter Classic assault on Rangers fans

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

NBC Philadelphia is reporting that police have issued an arrest warrant for the man who "threw the first punch" in that Jan. 2, post-Winter Classic assault on two New York Rangers fans outside of Geno's Steaks.

The network isn't releasing his name, but its sources say he has a "prior arrest record including drugs, robbery with a gun and aggravated assault." (So a real peach then.) Here's a refresher on the incident.

From NBCPhilaelphia.com:

Police say the assault left Iraqi War Veteran Neal Auricchio, a Woodbridge (N.J.) police officer, unconscious and needing four to five stitches under one of his eyes.

A witness who identified the suspect in a photo lineup earlier this week told police that he said, "Welcome to South Philly Mother F%#*er" after knocking out Auricchio, police sources said.

Auricchio was back in Philly a few days later to talk to police about the incident. A second Rangers fan, a friend of Auricchio's, was also involved in the fight, police sources said. Both victims gave a positive identification of the suspect police were still trying to track down Thursday night, police said.

It was only a matter of time until police caught up with the assailants. The fight was national news, and Philadelphia Flyers fans were vigilant in trying to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, angry that they made Philly fans look terrible through their actions.

According to the Newark Star-Ledger, Auricchio "will undergo surgery to repair a bone beneath his eye that was damaged in the attack."

He, his family and the friend who was also injured in the attack have been invited by the Rangers to attend their game on Feb. 27 and meet the team. This comes after GM Glen Sather and Coach John Tortorella called Auricchio last week to offer support.

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