Posted October 29, 2013

Hockey dad arrested for attacking 14-year-old player

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The scene at a youth hockey game in Florida was not as idyllic as this scene. (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The scene at a youth hockey game in Florida was not as idyllic as this one. (Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Dr. Matthew Supran, a 44-year-old chiropractor in Palm Beach County, Fla., was arrested on Wednesday after he allegedly punched a 14-year-old youth hockey player in the face and slammed his head into the boards on Sunday.

The victim had elbowed Supran’s son in the head, earning a five-minute penalty and enraging Supran, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 230 pounds. The referee and a coach had to pull Supran off the player.

Said the victim’s mother, Kristy Cardieri: “The parents get really worked up at these games. A lot of them say and do things they shouldn’t do. But this went to a whole new level.”

SI WIRE: High school football referees arrested during game

Supran, who has no prior arrests, was released on $3,000 bail.

SI WIRE: Ohio H.S. football player suspended for poem criticizing coach


81 comments
swenner29
swenner29

My daughter started playing hockey when she was eight. She now plays for her college. She became certified to be a referee when she was 14 but never once worked as one - she was too afraid of the parents and coaches. It's sad when adults can't behave like adults, and become such bad role models for our children.

not1
not1

If anything, this event and the commentary about it have shown that youth sports are no longer about character building but about the fragile egos of adults. Both sides here have shown at best morally dubious opinions. It's really time to bring sports back to the kids. If that means banning parents from games maybe this should be the focus case. Neither a elbow flying back hit (even if accidental) or a parent charging on the ice is defensible. Period. Fact.

If youth sports are now nothing more than bread and circuses like their professional counter parts then maybe it's time to spend or dollars on something more productive. It's time to stop fiddling while Rome burns.

AmyGrant
AmyGrant

That being said, parents need to stay in the stands.  Assaulting a kid is wrong on all fronts.  Punishment for the cheap shot?  How about suspension for 10 games?  If he continues his dirty play as a few have alleged he does, escalate the length and severity of the punishment until he understands.

AmyGrant
AmyGrant

Kid threw an elbow to someones head in a non checking league.  Don't have to be there to know it's a dirty play.  He was more worried about being in trouble than the other boy being injured.

NickGarrison
NickGarrison

Dr?  He is a chiropractor.....I am not sure the medical community even recognizes chiropractors...


Anyways, what a total loser....

ToddBennett
ToddBennett

I worked in politics a long time.  I can tell you that some of you are using a philosophy common to that profession.  There is the truth, and what we can convince people to believe.  The idea that the sky is blue depends upon your opinion of what constitutes blue.  Same thing here.  The idea that Dr. Supran was justified depends upon your ability to convince people that size, not age or mental maturity dictates what is an adult.  This is fundamentally wrong.  And I would suggest to you that even if the children involved were adults, nothing is accomplished for getting into the accused's face and starting an altercation.  I can take one look at this guy and size him up, his background, his politics, his drinking habits, everything.  This guy is a walking cliche, but I will not get into that here.  What I will tell you is that if we do not put a stop to this mentality now, the future is bleak indeed.  We will have a nation of zealots vigilantes prone to race baiting and division.  And we do not need more of that.  If you remember nothing else of what I write remember this-people in spiritual harmony, in balance with their inner selves, do not attack children-even if their own kid was a victim of schoolyard foolishness.  Some Eastern philosophy could do this country a world of good.

ToddBennett
ToddBennett

A difference between a sane society and one that has gone off of the rails is the ability to understand the difference between justification and rationalization.  Many of you here are rationalizing, and as someone with psychology education I don't need the whole story to see the tell tale signs.  We can not seriously debate whether a grown man was right to attack a child, whatever his size.  For society to work there must be appropriate trust in the rules and punishment for rules violations.  Whether or not the child is a dirty player, which I do not know, it is simply unacceptable to allow these kind of lines to be crossed.

Whether the child involved is a troublemaker is for the parents and league to deal with, not some kind of vigilante.  I respect the fact you can see red when a loved one is attacked.  But that does not mean you have the right to act upon it.  A rationalization is "he has a reputation for doing these things", "I saw red", "I wanted to teach him a lesson."  A justification is "he was mercilessly beating my child and nobody was coming to his aid, so I restrained him until the authorities arrived."  As for you Ms. Cardieri I would advise you, since this may become a civil matter as well, to refrain from giving public narratives.  Best wishes to all the kids involved.

Joe110
Joe110

OMG...THis is crazy, all these comments!  I was there so let me set the record straight.  This kid has a reputation of dirty playing.  I grew up in Michigan playing hockey all my life and this was a cheap dirty hit.  If this would have happened in the NHL it would receive a multi game suspention.  Supran's son was skaing towards the puck when the other kid skated directly behing him, stick off the ice and checked him with his elbow contacting the back of his head.  We all thought as Surpan laid motionless that he might have broken his neck.   Dr. Supran seeing this, knowing what he knows about the spine and knowing who did this to his son, the cheap shots in the past, imagine the fear he felt as he went to the aid of his son.  Another fact to set straight, you would think by reading these post that He was on top of this kid beating him up.  It was a shove and then the coaches and refs got between them..THATS IT. Sure he should not have done that but at that second he thought his son would not walk again as the result of a check that would be illegal in ANY league especiall this one that is a NO CHECK league.  Oh ya, don't be fooled with the pictures you see of this kid, his mom provided pictures that are a few years old.  His is MUCh stronger and bigger that Supran's child...that is 11.  I will never read the news the same again after know how onesided things can be. - 

stupendas1
stupendas1

For those people not trolling and saying that this article was biased and they are making the father out to be a "monster" and what if the boy was 6' tall.  I wonder what those people would say if it was their kid that go punched.  Just saying...

ki.nazir72
ki.nazir72

Typical, bully coward, entitled moose brain, I guess there were no other males there with any balls, that would have easily been dealt with right there!

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

The first link is to a story openly hostile to "hockey dad."  The second is far more balanced.  Guess who's posted a bunch of comments there?  The mom of the kid who got attacked.

She says everyone thinks this is completely out of character for the dad.  From a legal standpoint, it seems at least unwise.  It's certainly very surprising.   

Тhe SI story virtually ignores the kid who got decked with an elbow to the face.  Like he doesn't matter.  But mom seems to disagree.  She's expending tremendous effort defending her son, for some reason.  Why, given how sympathetic the coverage is to her position?

There's more to this than the emotional, one-sided story above.  Stay tuned...

reptilejason
reptilejason

Well done Chris!  You were able to poorly describe an event, yet emphasize certain points in order to get people to read and be outraged by the story.  How about you spend an extra five minutes typing and report a complete story...

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

They very accurately and thoroughly give the height and weight of the dad.  But they don't give the size and weight of the kids involved.  Wouldn't it make for a dramatic contrast to say that he attacked a "14 year old boy, 5'6", 125 pounds?"  I think so.  Why doesn't it say that?

I am profoundly suspicious due to the complete lack of details.  That, and the fact the parents of the kid who threw the elbow felt the need to say that the dad "knew he was a juvenile."  Well...duh.  How could he forget?

Unless...not saying this is so, but what if...that "14 year old boy" happened to be around 6 foot and close to 200 pounds?  My high school freshman class had a half-dozen guys like that.  And how big was the kid he elbowed? 

We just don't know.  There's a whole lot of purple prose and emotion here on the basis of very limited facts.

ScottMark
ScottMark

@AmyGrant   The coach ruled it was not a dirty play.  Try dealing with the facts.  A grown man allegedly attacked a 14 year old child.  My opinion

ScottMark
ScottMark

@Joe110  That works both ways. Then "Dr" Supran should know that allegedly striking a child and have to be pulled off a child could damage the childs spine.  You are making up facts.  My opinion

ScottMark
ScottMark

@Joe110   You are rewriting the facts in this case and contradicting the refs statement.  The ref was there.  You can massage the facts all you want but, here is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE FOR THE DADS BEHAVIOR.  NO EXCUSE!!!!!!  My opinion

j7apple
j7apple

@Joe110  Got to Love Moms protection...lol..defend to the end............

NickGarrison
NickGarrison

@Joe110 You are a JOEker....he is not a doctor....he is a QUACK CHIROPRACTOR...

AdamSWalburger
AdamSWalburger

@Joe110 If he knows so much about head/spine injury then he would know the risk of hemorrhagic stroke or concussion from punching this CHILD in the head....get real dude. 

kcardieri
kcardieri

@Joe110 Just for the record, the photos are taken when he was 13.  He is now 14.  Do the math.

kcardieri
kcardieri

@Joe110 My son did not intentionally hurt Supran's son!  He was the first one beside him asking if he was ok.  And a reputation for dirty play?  That's your opinion.  NOTHING gives an adult the right to attack a child. End of story!  Do you know how many times he has been hit with dirty hits? MANY!  I don't go out and attack every kid that does it to him!  Let the refs do their jobs!

ScottMark
ScottMark

@stupendas1 Well your speculation would make it a completely different situation.  What if my aunt had balls…she'd be my uncle

Cool
Cool

@stupendas1 Even if the kid was 6'3 and 230 pounds, it still wouldn't and shouldn't excuse another person to punch them.  Some people only have a lump on their head with a pie hole and no brain function.. they are the ones who defend stupidity.

ScottMark
ScottMark

@MidwestGolfFan  or is it aka Mrs Supran?   You must have some connection to the Dad because its not normal to post as many times as you have.   You keep trying to spin ALL the facts.  And btw no one cares about your life story…..                   My opinion

Alix777
Alix777

@MidwestGolfFan Maybe you can bake him a cake with a saw so he can escape his time in lock up. 

Mkmck
Mkmck

@MidwestGolfFan Dude, you are taking the "devil's advocate" thing a bit too far. There is no reason, ever, for a parent to go on the ice and attack a kid, period. List all the circumstantial events you want, but in the end, the parent just can't do that. A judge is going to make that clear to him when he gets sentenced. Stay tuned for that.

ScottMark
ScottMark

@Chris, it was a good article and consistent with all the other news stories.  Thank you for stating the facts and not speculating like some of the trolls on here.  My opinion

PWINGS
PWINGS

@MidwestGolfFan  

"They very accurately and thoroughly give the height and weight of the dad.  But they don't give the size and weight of the kids involved.  Wouldn't it make for a dramatic contrast to say that he attacked a "14 year old boy, 5'6", 125 pounds?"  I think so.  Why doesn't it say that?....Unless...not saying this is so, but what if...that "14 year old boy" happened to be around 6 foot and close to 200 pounds?  My high school freshman class had a half-dozen guys like that.  And how big was the kid he elbowed? "

I'm not sure that police reports typically give the victim's height and weight in assault cases. I'm a bit surprised they gave the height and weight of the attacker. As for the potential size difference between the victim and the attacker's son, this is hockey, not wrestling or boxing where weight limits are enforced. Our youth football leagues have different weight brackets to prevent such a size mismatch. If that didn't exist in his league, maybe the shouldn't have allowed his son to play with much bigger kids.

The bottom line here is that the law typically doesn't define assault as being "a big person beating up a much smaller person". Unless you've clearly got a case of "self-defense" or "life threatening", I think the dad is on pretty shaky ground regardless of the size of the player that he hit. To me, if anybody had just cause for "punching someone in the face and slamming his head into the boards", it was the referee, the dad and coach of the player who was assaulted by this jerk. They're the ones who exercised restraint and showed some maturity and responsibility!

rjh44
rjh44

@MidwestGolfFan So if the kid was 14 but happened to be 6 feet tall then this would be perfectly justified:

Supran "grabbed the teen by the helmet and slammed his head into the boards around the rink...Supran then fell on top of the teen. The referee and a coach had to 'pull the defendant off of the player,' a deputy wrote in the report."

Good to know where you stand.

Joe110
Joe110

@kcardieri @Joe110 Sometimes the parents are the last to know their kids reputation.  Yes he does have a reputation for cheap shots, you might not know that or want to believe it but he does.  Not saying what Supran did was right but I understand it, he was being papa bear.  His gets hit by a cheap shot, again you might not want to believe it but it was and elbow to the head from behind, by a kid that has done this type of play in the past and he gets angry.  Why don't you set the record straight?  The refs did not have to pull him off your son, they stood between them.  He did not beat your kid, he shoved him.  This has escalated way too far.  If you truely feel bad for the Suprans, like you said in a post, drop the charges because lessons have been learned by everyone.  He is not a crazed lunatic, thats a fact.  This has gone far enough, unless some people have other motives.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@kcardieri @Joe110  

Coverage has been overwhelmingly favorable to you.  Comments by individuals have been overwhelmingly favorable to you.

Yet if someone questions what actually happened on the ice, there you are -- popping up on multiple websites. Telling everyone to be quiet, and heed the refs (a weird thing to say, it seems to me).

Lost in all of the purple prose: your son decked a smaller kid with an elbow in a no-check league.  It may not have been on purpose, but in every sport, flying elbows indicate a style of play that operates on the edges of good sportsmanship.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@PWINGS @MidwestGolfFan  

If there aren't enough facts to present a balanced story, it shouldn't be written. 

As for there being no size restrictions in hockey, maybe the kid who did the elbowing is one of the big guys among average kids.

In a sense, I'm playing devil's advocate.  We just don't know what happened.  Not saying that's what happened here, but this is why I won't get on all the outrage:  if there some big kid clocked my kid with his elbow, and got to stay in the game, I might see red.  

Another question:  why was the kid who threw the elbow allowed to stay in the game?  I thought kids' hockey leagues were all into safety and zero tolerance?  He got a 5-minute major, which indicates he clearly did something very, very wrong.  References to "malicious intent' seem kind of weird and beside the point.

Again, I think there's something else going on here, and the dearth of facts in the source article raises a lot of questions in my mind.

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@rjh44 @MidwestGolfFan  

Maybe the kid is an out-of-control big bully.  Maybe the father isn't a bad guy but just saw red.

Or maybe the elbow "just happened" (which I find hard to believe, but I suppose it's possible).  Maybe the two kids are the same size. Maybe the father is a complete jerk. 

We don't know.  

The spin on this is weird:  lots of missing facts, and the only things being reported make the father into a monster.  I'm profoundly suspicious.

ScottMark
ScottMark

@joe   I hope the victims mother does NOT drop it after you have insulted the mother and the child.  They did nothing wrong.  You are attacking the victim which is very LOW of you.  My opinion

ScottMark
ScottMark

@Joe110 @kcardieri   The "dads" life is ruined because of his own behavior….NO ONE ELSES.  It is 100% the Dads fault.  The ref says it was NOT a dirty play.  PERIOD.   My opinion

ScottMark
ScottMark

Joe you have no right to slander (in my opinion) the  child victim in the media.  Is that even legal to do?

Joe110
Joe110

@kcardieri @Joe110   You could drop this whole thing.  Both kids are fine, you are fine, Supran like I said has never and never will again do anything like this.  BTW, you do know your son has  a reputation for aggressive play in a non check league the rink has brought this to your attention.  

kcardieri
kcardieri

@Joe110 @kcardieriYou are minimizing this.  This was not just a shove.  There are many witnesses to that.  Once again, I will say I do not know Supran so I cannot make a statement on the type of man he is.  I am done responding to this or any other social media site. Here's the bottom line...An adult put his hands on my son.  That is illegal and that's why I am pressing charges. I did NOT contact the media and I cannot control the media or how they dramatize things.  I have asked that they leave me alone!

Joe110
Joe110

@kcardieri @Joe110 BTW...Suprans child after not moving for 20 min and taken off on a back board by paramedics is OK, thank God. Now, your son was shoved, yes and I have said that he should not have been touched.  But he was shoved and skated off normally after being ejected from the game.  He sure seemed fine as he slammed his stick on the ice yell because of the ejection.  Tempers flared on both sides and this got spun out of control.  Both kids are fine.  Supran is not nuts, ask ANYONE at the rink, anyone.  Both coaches know what kind of person he is.  I am sure he has never acted like this or will act like this in the future, and hopefully you have talked to your son about his aggressive play.  Don't know how you can sit back and watch this guys life ruined by this, that is the disturbing part to me.   

kcardieri
kcardieri

@Joe110 @kcardieri For the record, MY statement does not say that the refs had to pull him off of my son.  My statement only states the parts that I saw.  The rest of the story is from statements of other witnesses who were out on the ice during this incident, including the referee and witnesses that saw from the stands.  After I saw the first hits, I got out of my seat to come to the aid of my son.  

Alix777
Alix777

@MidwestGolfFan I think it is time to out yourself. How are you related to this father? Or do you have a history of assaulting 14 year olds? What other reason can there be for your obsessive behavior w/r/t this story?

PWINGS
PWINGS

@MidwestGolfFan @PWINGS   Thanks. I was trying to be objective yet interject my point of view as a youth coach. The issue here that you raise is a valid one; incomplete information that lets the reader draw their own conclusions. I'm sympathetic to that. I think the real issue here is basing ANY story on a "tweet" which by definition is incomplete and shallow. It's the reason I don't have a Twitter account. It's not really communication and it's certainly not conversation or dialogue. So I'm not sure if what you're criticizing is a result of "spin" so much as it is a criticism of Twitter in general. In either case, I understand your point. I just think that whatever the father was trying to accomplish, he failed!

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@PWINGS @MidwestGolfFan  

You've said a lot of things, and I appreciate your respectful tone.

But this story stinks (if I may say so) on ice.  It has a feeling of "spin" to it.  How did SI hear about this?  "Hockey dad" is a highly inflammatory term in this context.  Why is the kid who got attacked being portrayed as blameless?  He knocked another kid down with an elbow to the face!

A big hole in the story:  what happened to the kid who got knocked down?  Did he get up and skate away?  Did he get hurt?  Was he down on the ice awhile?  Why doesn't he matter?  Maybe his father did his astonishing deed as a consequence.  Why doesn't HE count?

You have to be throwing your elbows around with some degree of intent to catch someone in the face hard enough to knock them down, even kids on ice skates.  The refs' insistence that it "wasn't malicious" sounds defensive to me.

A more fair headline:  "Father attacks hockey player, 14, who knocked son to ice with elbow to face."  I suspect the foaming-at-the-mouth self-righteousness would be a lot different here.

The father may be a crazed stage-dad.  Then again, maybe something set him off.  The biased, one-sided "get my spin in first" reporting seems to be designed to cover something up.

PWINGS
PWINGS

@MidwestGolfFan @PWINGS  

"If there aren't enough facts to present a balanced story, it shouldn't be written....Another question:  why was the kid who threw the elbow allowed to stay in the game?  I thought kids' hockey leagues were all into safety and zero tolerance?  He got a 5-minute major, which indicates he clearly did something very, very wrong.  References to "malicious intent' seem kind of weird and beside the point."

Midwest, "Enough", like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. I understand you're playing devil's advocate and I'm certainly not going to try and hold this article up as a textbook piece of journalism by the author. Far from it. But enough, in the context that you're using it, is as vague and incomplete as the details in the article.

The thrust of my comments is this. In the end, the dad failed to: 1) protect his son unless he intends on suiting up for every game and being the team's "enforcer". 2) Allow his son to learn to defend himself and fight his own battles and earn the respect of his opponents and teammates in the process and 3) set an example that anyone would regard as sportsmanship and self-discipline which is what sports is supposed to teach. All he accomplished was get himself arrested and turn his son into a target for more "bullying".

As for "elbowing" meriting a 5 minute major penalty, that's my understanding of how its penalized at all levels of hockey. Allowing the offending player to re-enter the game after serving his penalty is pretty consistent with how it's treated at any level. The only exception to this is suspending the player for the following game (or some part of it) if he commits the penalty in the last five minutes of a game. This is done as a deterrent to the last five minutes turning into open warfare.


MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

@ScottMark  

You appeared here out of the blue, and the only 15 comments you've ever made at SI have been to trash anyone who disagrees with the "Hang the dad!" comments.

You, sir, are a troll with an agenda.

ScottMark
ScottMark

@golf   "maybe maybe maybe..if if if   LOL