GLENS FALLS — Glens Falls Police have determined no criminal charges are warranted for last week’s brawl that involved players and fans at a Glens Falls High basketball game.
A Glens Falls police officer was knocked unconscious and suffered a hand injury as he was felled while trying to stop a fight that broke out in front of the Hudson Falls High bench Jan. 19. No other injuries were reported, but videos posted online show numerous scuffles that spilled out of the gym into an adjacent hallway.
Police reviewed numerous videos of the melee and concluded there did not appear to be any intent on the part of those involved to injure or confront the officer, John Norton, and it was unclear how he was knocked down. No one filed a complaint seeking charges.
Norton missed work over the weekend and Monday, but returned to duty on Tuesday.
Glens Falls Police Detective Lt. Peter Casertino said it appeared the brawl started after a Glens Falls player knocked the ball away from a Hudson Falls player, leading to words being exchanged and a second Glens Falls player becoming involved and having physical contact with the Hudson Falls player. Spectators went onto the court as the pileup grew, but those who got involved appeared to be trying to play peacemaker, Casertino explained.
“There were definitely no punches thrown by bystanders,” Casertino said. “It looked like they were trying to pull people apart.”
The Post-Star is withholding the names of the players involved, but police said Glens Falls star guard Joseph Girard III was not part of the fight.
Norton was in uniform, but was working for the school district at the time. He went to Glens Falls Hospital after he was hurt, and off-duty officers from other police agencies who were in the stands watching the game and other Glens Falls Police officers who were called remained as the game resumed.
Officials from both schools said players involved in the fracas will be disciplined per Section II and school policies. Section II’s policy calls for a one-game suspension after an ejection.