A felony assault charge against a South Buffalo hockey dad accused of attacking his son’s coach last month at Leisure Rinks in Orchard Park after the boy was pulled from the game has been reduced back to the original misdemeanor charge.
The charge was reduced from second-degree to third-degree assault after Assistant District Attorney Michael D. Smith told Orchard Park Town Justice Edward A. Pace during a court appearance Thursday that it would be difficult to prove intent.
Michael P. Schaefer, 48, is charged with attacking Scott Diebold, coach of the prep team at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, after the game on Jan. 4. Schaefer told police he was upset about Diebold allegedly bullying his son, a junior who was playing goalie that night.
Police reports indicate that Schaefer ran up to the coach near the ice, grabbed him by the left arm and pushed him into the glass, cutting his cheek and causing bleeding. The officer said Schaefer continued pulling the coach’s arm, dislocating his shoulder, and threw him to the floor. Police said Schaefer then continued pushing the coach into the floor, causing further injuries. Bystanders broke up the fight.