Hockey dad sentenced in assault on coach

4:59 PM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
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HASTINGS, Minn. - An east metro hockey dad will serve 6 months in jail in connection with an assault on his son's coach.

Thomas Angelo Tonda of St. Paul recieved the sentence of 180 days in jail for the attack, which took place at an arena in Inver Grove Heights during December of 2011.

Prosecutors say Tonda grabbed the victim in a choke hold and threatened to kill him as he left the arena. The judge also levied a stayed sentence of 21 months in prison, which Tonda will serve if he does not remain law-abiding or violates conditions of his 5-year parole.

"Assaulting and threatening a youth athletics coach in this manner is extremely disturbing behavior," said Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom in a written statement. "We are pleased to have brought Thomas Tonda to justice for his criminal conduct."

Witnesses say the assault took place after Tonda's son got into a fight with an opposing player during practice, using his hockey stick as a baseball bat. That's when the coach broke the fight up and scolded both players.

Tonda allegedly took offense, screamed at the coach and put him in a choke hold to the point the coach, identified as Terry Johnson, started to black out.


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