Madison Square Garden issues lifetime ban to Rangers fan James Anastasio

Madison Square Garden has issued a lifetime ban to a Rangers fan who assaulted a Tampa Bay Lightning fan Thursday night.

Following the conclusion of Thursday’s Eastern Conference Final playoff game, a 29-year-old Rangers fan sucker punched a Lightning fan as they were exiting the arena. The brutal punch left the Lightning fan unconscious on the ground.

The Rangers fanĀ is facing multiple criminal charges in connection with the assault. The Lightning fan, meanwhile, is in stable condition after receiving treatment in a nearby hospital.

In a statement published on social media Friday, MSG states that 29-year-old Rangers fan James Anastasio has received a lifetime ban from Madison Square Garden.

Here’s MSG’s full statement on the assault:

“Last night, an abhorrent assault took place against a Tampa Bay fan at the
conclusion of the game-followed by a second assault against an individual
who bravely intervened.


“First, we ensured the victims received appropriate medical care and have
followed up to provide support from our guest services team. Equally
important, we are cooperating fully with law enforcement as this is now a
criminal matter. The assailant will also be banned from The Garden and all
other MSG venues for life.


“All guests- no matter what team they support- should feel safe and
respected in The Garden. This has and always will be our policy.”

While the health of the Lightning fan is the immediate concern, it’s good to see the arena take action against the perpetrator. MSG has sent a clear message that this type of behavior won’t be tolerated under any circumstances.

We hope for a much more peaceful night in the stands when the Rangers and Lightning play Game 6 on Saturday.