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Two more charged in wake of youth hockey fracas at Salem rink where police stunned coach

By RYAN LESSARD
Union Leader Correspondent

May 29. 2018 3:44AM
Assistant hockey coach Bob Andersen, 45, of Wilmington, Mass., is taken into custody by Salem police officers Dec. 2 at ICenter in Salem. (YouTube.com)



SALEM — Police have arrested two Massachusetts men who were present during the controversial arrest of an assistant youth hockey coach after a game in December.

The men are Christopher Albano of Reading, Mass., and John Chesna of Revere, Mass. Police say the men turned themselves in to police on newly issued warrants.

Albano was arrested on May 16 and charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct. Chesna was arrested the following day and charged with criminal trespass and three counts of disorderly conduct. Both men are free on personal recognizance bail.

Youth hockey coach Robert S. Andersen of Wilmington, Mass., was arrested on Dec. 2 at the ICenter skating complex in Salem. Police used a stun gun on him during a scuffle with officers.

Some witnesses have claimed Andersen, who is free on bail, did nothing wrong.

Andersen’s lawyer previously stated parents and referees had an argument during a game involving 13-year-old players and Andersen, who is an assistant coach, was not involved in the dispute.

The lawyer claimed Andersen was trying to break up the argument between parents when police arrived.

Cellphone footage of the arrest shows three uniformed officers bring Andersen forcefully to the ground. A fourth officer faced the crowd of people, many of whom were yelling at police.

Andersen is facing multiple charges including assaulting a police officer, which could come with a sentence of up to five years in prison if convicted.

Albano, the parent of a hockey player, is seen taking video of the arrest and swatting away the hand of the fourth officer after the officer seemed to attempt to block the camera.

Salem Police Capt. Joel Dolan said the arrests of Albano and Chesna came later because they were presented with new video footage.

"New evidence was brought to light in April, which allowed us to pursue the charges on the additional people involved,"” Dolan said. "Once the information was presented to us, we acted quickly."

Dolan said he expects Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Marguerite Wageling to issue a "gag order" on the case soon "because of the extensive amount of press that has surrounded this."

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office already cleared Salem police of any criminal wrongdoing for using a stun gun on Andersen.

Salem Town Manager Christopher Dillon has reportedly ordered an independent review of the police department and its internal review process.


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