iCenter incident

A scuffle with police took place at the iCenter skating arena in December 2017 that was captured on video.

SALEM — A third man charged in a disturbance at the ICenter in December 2017 pleaded guilty Wednesday to a violation-level disorderly conduct charge.

Christopher Albano, of Reading, Mass., was ordered to pay a $200 fine.

His attorney, Timothy Bush, said prosecutors dropped a charge of assaulting a police officer and reduced the disorderly conduct violation from a misdemeanor during a status hearing.

“Mr. Albano pled to a violation-level disorderly conduct,” Bush said. “So, Mr. Albano has no criminal record.”

Bush said Albano is a successful small business owner. He was one of several parents at a youth hockey game Dec. 2, 2017, that descended into chaos, according to police.

After parents and players allegedly berated a referee with profanities, the game was cut short and parents continued arguing in the ICenter lobby when police were called.

Police arrested Albano and another parent, John Chesna of Revere, Mass., in May 2018, citing evidence they received after Albano and other parents gave interviews to WBZ-TV in April 2018 that was critical of how Salem police handled the incident.

Albano was seen in video recordings using his cellphone to film police arresting a coach and at one point swatted the hand of an officer attempting to control the crowd.

Mass. State Police arrested Albano at Logan International Airport on behalf of Salem police.

During the 2017 incident youth hockey coach Robert Andersen of Wilmington, Mass., was arrested, with multiple officers using tasers and tackling him. Andersen was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Andersen and witnesses said he was mediating a verbal fight between parents when police arrested him. Charges against him were reduced to a Class B misdemeanor for disorderly conduct and others were dropped at a pretrial hearing April 25.

Andersen paid a $500 fine.

Last November, Chesna agreed to plead guilty to a violation-level criminal trespass charge, with three disorderly conduct charges — of which two were misdemeanors — suspended for two years of good behavior. He was ordered to pay half of a $500 fine and to serve 10 hours of community service.

Chesna also was banned from the ICenter for two years.

According to police, Chesna was one of the parents yelling profanities at a referee and walked onto the ice.

The ICenter incident was featured in a critical audit report by Kroll Inc., which reviewed the Salem Police Department’s internal affairs process, time and attendance practices and department culture.

Auditors found police responded to complaints by Andersen with minimal effort and did not interview several witnesses, including an off-duty Mass. State Police detective.

Kroll investigators also found Salem police cherry-picked witnesses months later who supported their version of events before arresting Albano and Chesna.