Men accused of fight at McFarland youth hockey game caught on camera

MCFARLAND, Wis. — The two men charged in a fight at a McFarland youth hockey game were caught on camera beating minors, a criminal complaint alleges.

Craig Cooper, 41, and Jared Egger, 42, of Hayward are charged with misdemeanor assault.

RELATED: Two adults arrested after fight at McFarland youth hockey game

McFarland police officers were dispatched to the McFarland Community Ice Arena on March 5 for a fight in the arena lobby where an adult allegedly hit a child. Egger has been identified as a suspect.

According to the complaint, Egger spoke to police in the arena and said he did not throw any punches and only intervened to break up a fight between children.

Video footage from the lobby reportedly shows a child, identified as CDE, approaching a man standing next to Egger. As CDE approached, the complaint alleges the man raised his forearm and punched the child in the face. The impact of the strike would have knocked the CDE’s winter hat off its head. The man was identified by team head coach Hayward as Cooper.

A second incident

A second child, identified as CGC, told police he was punched while in the stands. According to the complaint, the incident could be seen on the LiveBarn app, which recorded the hockey game live.

LiveBarn footage shows CGC dancing near Hayward Bench. The complaint alleges that Egger approached the child and punched him in the face. He then allegedly grabbed the child by the shirt and pushed him down the bleacher steps. The complaint alleges that Egger’s position was confrontational and aggressive.

CDE speaks

According to the complaint, CDE told police he was in the lobby looking for a woman who allegedly threw beer at his friend. CDE reportedly said that as he walked past Cooper, the adult punched him in the face with his arm.

Immediately after the strike, the complaint says a man standing behind Cooper identified himself as a “sheriff” and showed his badge to the CDE. He then reportedly told CDE “you don’t really want to talk to me right now.”

The police talk to Cooper

Officers contacted Cooper in his hotel room. Cooper allegedly said CDE threatened to kill him and used his forearm to push CDE aside. Officers questioned Cooper and he maintained that he was only pushing the CDE away.

CGC speaks

Speaking to police, CGC reportedly said he was celebrating his team’s victory when Egger allegedly grabbed him by the shirt, said ‘you don’t do that here’ and kicked him on the right side face with his elbow. According to the complaint, CGC said he had never met Egger and described him as drunk.

The police talk to Egger

Speaking to police in his hotel room, Egger reportedly denied hitting anyone while in the stands at the game.

In a first appearance on Tuesday, Cooper’s signing bond was set at $500. Egger’s signing requirement was also set at $500. Pleas of not guilty have been entered on behalf of both men. The two have pre-trial conferences on May 4.

As a condition of their bond, neither can have contact with the CDE or the CGC. Egger cannot consume alcohol.

Catherine J. Martinez