The South Buffalo hockey dad accused of attacking his son’s coach earlier this month after the boy was pulled from the game pleaded not guilty Tuesday to an upgraded charge of felony second-degree assault.
Michael P. Schaefer and his attorney, Jason C. Henskee, appeared before Orchard Park Town Justice Edward A. Pace for the arraignment. Schaefer originally was charged with misdemeanor assault.
Court officials said the charge was changed after a review of medical records.
Schaefer, 48, has told police he was upset about Scott Diebold, coach of the prep team at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, allegedly bullying his son, a junior who was playing goalie that night. According to police, Schaefer confronted Diebold after the game, which was part of a weekend tournament at Leisure Rinks in Orchard Park.
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.
Schaefer faces a felony court hearing at 4 p.m. Feb. 13.
Assistant District Attorney Michael D. Smith is the prosecutor in the case.