READING, Mass. (AP) — A man accused of a beating another father at a youth hockey game has been charged with manslaughter.
Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley said Sunday that investigators have obtained a complaint and arrest warrant for Thomas Junta, 42, in the death of 40-year-old Michael Costin.
Junta allegedly beat Costin unconscious on Wednesday in a dispute over rough play in a youth hockey game, and Costin died Friday.
Costin had been out on the ice with a group of youngsters, all about 10 years old, including his three sons and Junta's son. The hockey game was supposed to be non-contact, but police say Junta got agitated when things got rough and some of the players engaged in checking.
Junta and Costin began arguing with each other, and a rink manager threw Junta out, but Junta returned, police said.
Junta, who police say is 6-foot-1 and weighs 275-pounds, knocked the 6-foot-tall, 150-pound Costin to the floor and punched him in the head, police said. Another adult broke up the fight, but Costin was unconscious.
Coakley said Junta had notified authorities on Friday that he was leaving for a vacation. She said Junta had been cooperative so far and she expected him to turn himself in, but would not comment on his whereabouts.
An arraignment was tentatively scheduled for Monday at Woburn District Court. Junta's phone number is unlisted, and the district attorney's office declined to provide the name of his lawyer.
The arrest warrant for Junta, who was originally charged with assault and battery, came after an autopsy by the state medical examiner's office concluded Costin died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck.
Coakley said Junta was charged with manslaughter because there was no indication of intent to kill.