A beer league goalie will serve time in prison for a disturbing slashing incident that occurred in a 3-on-3 hockey tournament over the summer.
On Wednesday, Todd Ball was sentenced to 30 days in jail that he’ll serve on weekends and one year of probation after chopping 27-year-old Ryan Cox in the face with his stick.
Video of the incident, which occurred in Fort Erie last May, was released on Wednesday:
Cox suffered a concussion, shattered nose and fractured orbital bone on the play and required seven hours of surgery and six plates in his face. The victim told the St. Catharines Standard that he’s still reeling from his injuries:
“He only got 30 days for breaking someone’s face. My life has never been the same.
“I can’t feel my face. It is numb. I get bad headaches. It is hard for me to sleep. I’ve had facial surgeries and reconstructions. The sentence was too lenient. It’s an injustice. It’s ridiculous.”
This is where things get a little crazy.
Cox said there was no reason behind the incident, but according to the judge, alcohol was the primary factor as Ball, 38, spent all day drinking to celebrate his birthday before taking the ice.
“Mr. Cox could not have anticipated he would be hit at all, much less with a goal stick. Mr. Ball’s drinking problem and his background are an explanation, not an excuse,” said Judge Tory Colvin.
Besides having a drinking problem, Ball also had a “troublesome upbringing” that was cited by Judge Colvin in a pre-sentencing report. According to the report, Ball’s father was a violent biker who spent 20 years of his life in prison and was beaten to death by biker gang members when Ball was 12 years old.
Back to hockey, Judge Colvin said on-ice assaults are tough cases for the justice system because violence is an accepted risk associated with the game. But this incident obviously falls outside of what could be considered an inherent risk.
“In my mind, the significant fact is that this was a non-contact, fun tournament,” Colvin said. “It makes very different from cases involving competitive play, for instance in the NHL or the AHL.