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Heat advisory continues in New Jersey as highs approach near 100 degrees

Rangers fan caught on video punching Devils employee at Game 7

Melissa Rodriguez says that Devils fans were celebrating a goal when suddenly a Rangers fan struck a Devils employee who was pumping up the crowd.

Matt Trapani

May 3, 2023, 2:32 AM

Updated 415 days ago

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A New Jersey Devils employee was punched in the face by an angry Rangers fan during Game 7 of the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Monday night.
That punch was caught on camera. Melissa Rodriguez, who filmed the attack, spoke exclusively to News 12 New Jersey about what she witnessed.
Rodriguez says that Devils fans were celebrating a goal when suddenly a Rangers fan struck a Devils employee who was pumping up the crowd.
She says that it happened in Section 16 at the Prudential Center in Newark. She says that a member of the Devils “Woo Crew” was firing up the crowd and that Rangers fans were beginning to leave since the team was losing. She says that is when things started getting bad.
“One of the Woo Crew was getting off the railing from holding up the sign and he had been facing up the stairs, so they were walking up the stairs. He was getting down and she walked into him from behind,” says Rodriguez. “It was a complete accident…he did nothing wrong.”
The Rangers fan is seen striking the employee in the side of his face. As the crowd tried to separate them, the Rangers fan strikes another man in the scramble.
The employee did not wish to speak to News 12 on camera about the incident. But he did share a video of him being punched in the face on Twitter. He is asking anyone who might recognize the man who attacked him to message him.
“My section is usually pretty quiet. We’re usually pretty family-oriented down there, so to see that level even occur in our area was pretty shocking,” says Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has been a season ticket holder for years. She says that this was a first.
“I was completely surrounded by [Rangers fans] and none of them were disrespectful to me the entire game,” she says. “So, it really depends on the person…we’re all there for the same reason. We’re there to support our team and this is supposed to be a time to have enjoyment.”
A spokesperson for the Newark Police Department says that they aren’t involved in the case. The Prudential Center says that they are trying to identify the Rangers fan and that there is no tolerance for this type of behavior.
The Devils beat the Rangers 4-0 in Game 7 and advanced to the second round of the playoffs to take on the Carolina Hurricanes.


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