"Parent Rage" at Youth Hockey Game Ends in Death

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NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw/Kelly O'Donnell
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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Two fathers at their sons' pick-up hockey game in Boston got into an argument, which escalated to blows -- and ended with one man beating the other to death. Youth sports leaders say more parents are becoming too aggressive.



""Parent Rage" at Youth Hockey Game Ends in Death." Kelly O'Donnell, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 10 July 2000. NBC Learn. Web. 19 August 2017.


O'Donnell, K. (Reporter), & Brokaw, T. (Anchor). (2000, July 10). "Parent Rage" at Youth Hockey Game Ends in Death. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=2308


""Parent Rage" at Youth Hockey Game Ends in Death" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 07/10/2000. Accessed Sat Aug 19 2017 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=2308


"Parent Rage" at Youth Hockey Game Ends in Death

TOM BROKAW, anchor: 

NBC News IN DEPTH tonight, it's happened again, violence between parents at a children's sporting event, this time leading to a tragedy of the worst kind. It happened at a kids' hockey game, the setting for a disastrous argument that is now a criminal case.  More tonight from NBC's Kelly O'Donnell.

KELLY O'DONNELL reporting: 

Today in suburban Boston, a 42-year-old father surrenders to police.  The charge, manslaughter.  The incident, rage at an ice rink where his son skates. According to witnesses, a deadly fight between parents over a pick-up hockey game.  Police say truck driver, Thomas Junta, loses control, beating another hockey father to death.  Today, pleading not guilty in court.

Mr. THOMAS ORLANDI (Defense Attorney):  He's terribly remorseful.  His family is very upset.

O'DONNELL:  The victim remembered today as flowers and mourners arrive at the funeral home for his wake.  Forty-year-old Michael Costin, a single parent with four children.  His three sons were part of that pick-up hockey game that set off the tragedy.  It all started with rough play between grade-school-age boys on the ice.  Authorities say one dad got angry when the other didn't do enough to break it up.  Their fight heated up from words to blows.  Witnesses say Michael Costin was beaten unconscious while his own children watched.

Sports psychologist Rick Wolff says parent scuffles have become increasingly more violent in the last five years.  One survey finds that more than half of adults questioned, 56 percent, say they have witnessed aggressive parents at youth sports.

Mr. WOLFF:  The problems begin when the parents sort of check their intellectual reactions at the door and let their emotions run wild.

O'DONNELL:  One solution, a contract to keep heads cool.  Parents here in Jupiter, Florida, and in 150 communities around the country, now take a pledge of good sportsmanship.

Crowd:  (Taking pledge in unison) I will insist that my child play in a safe and a healthy environment.

O'DONNELL:  Fifteen of those communities make it mandatory--parents must sign before kids suit up.

Mr. FRED ENGH:  This is a wake-up call.  This is a stop sign where somebody got killed.

O'DONNELL:  Fred Engh, president of the National Alliance for Youth Sports, says he believes Michael Costin's death is the first tied to parent rage. Tonight, two families devastated by angry emotions, fueled by child's play. Thomas Junta, free on bond, facing the possibility of 20 years behind bars, while the loved ones of Michael Costin prepare to bury him tomorrow. 

Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News, Reading, Massachusetts.