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Man Dies After Youth Hockey Game

July 7, 2000

READING, Mass. (AP) _ Two fathers got into a fistfight after arguing about rough play in their sons’ youth hockey game, and one of the men died from injuries he suffered in the brawl.

Michael Costin, 40, and Thomas Junta, 42, fought at an ice rink in Reading on Wednesday in front of their sons and other children, who are all around 10 years old, police said.

Costin, a single father of four, was knocked unconscious and was pronounced dead Thursday.

Junta had already been facing charges of assault and battery. Police had no comment Friday on whether he would face new charges.

A woman who answered the Junta family phone in Reading on Friday refused comment.

Police said the pickup hockey game was supposed to be non-contact, but adults got agitated when play on the ice got rough. Lt. Detective Kevin Patterson said Costin’s and Junta’s sons may have been involved.

``Somebody may have struck or run into somebody on the ice,″ Patterson said.

The two men argued, then fought after the game, police said.

Jane Fiore, director of the health department in this town of around 23,000 located 15 miles north of Boston, said counselors, clergy, and others would be available Saturday at one of the town’s middle schools to help parents or children traumatized by the incident.

``I think people are just horrified by it,″ said Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner. ``It’s just a horrible situation.″

The National Youth Alliance for Youth Sports, which teaches parental ethics and monitors behavior at sporting events, said it had never heard of a fight involving parents at a children’s game that resulted in a death.

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