The Tampa Bay Lightning booster knocked unconscious by a crazed Rangers fan’s sucker punch is swinging back.
Joseph Urciuloi, 26, filed a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit seeking unspecified damages against Madison Square Garden and his “ossified and belligerent” assailant for the blow delivered after a June 9 playoff game inside the World’s Most Famous Arena.
According to court papers, Urciuoli suffered “severe and permanent personal injuries” when cold-cocked by a boozed-up James Anastasio, with the victim knocked to the ground in the caught on video attack.
The Lightning fan, wearing a team jersey, fell backward and hit his head on the floor before other stunned attendees came to his aid.
“The injuries … were caused solely and wholly by the negligence of (the Garden), its agents, servants and/or employees without any negligence on the plaintiff’s part,” alleged the 14-page lawsuit filed last Monday.
The court alleged the Garden unlawfully assisted in “procuring liquor for intoxicated persons and that the the sale of such liquor caused or contributed to such intoxication, thereby causing injury to plaintiff.”
Anastasio, 29, of Staten Island, was banned from all future events at MSG and its other properties after the attack where he eventually pleaded guilty to third-degree assault. The assailant was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and anger management treatment, with an order of protection ordering him to steer clear of the victim.
“As we stated at the time, this was an abhorrent assault,” responded MSG spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz. “Our immediate focus was ensuring that the victims received appropriate medical care and that the assailant was taken into custody—which happened in under 30 seconds.
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“In the subsequent weeks, we provided support and cooperation to law enforcement, including the Manhattan DA’s successful prosecution of the assault.”
The Midtown arena, on the night of the incident, held a security staff of 183 uniformed MSG security officers, 14 Supervisors, 18 NYPD officers and two NYPD sergeants on paid detail.
Anastasio wore a red shirt with the number 10 of Rangers star Artemi Panarin to Game Five of the Eastern Conference playoff series, only to watch the Rangers fall 3-1 before the scary incident.
“He’s dead, he died!” shouted one fan caught on the video aftermath of the blow, with the victim lying unconscious on the floor.
Police said a Good Samaritan eyewitness attempted to stop Anastasio from bolting, only to take a punch to the face. Cops called to the scene arrested the suspect on charges of assault and harassment, and his attorney initially claimed Anastasio was trying to defuse a tense situation after the Rangers’ loss.
But the video told a different story, as noted in the court papers.
“Josepj Urciuoli was caused to be injured as a result of the negligence of the defendant James Anastasio,” the documents alleged.