Hockey Dad Charged With Choking Son’s Coach

HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) — A St. Paul father has been charged after allegedly choking his son’s youth hockey coach.

According to the criminal complaint, a fight broke out between three hockey players at a rink in Inver Grove Heights on Dec. 6. The team combines youth from both Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul.

The complaint says the son of 49-year-old Thomas Tonda was involved in the altercation, and swung his hockey stick and struck one of the other players.

The boy’s coach told him he couldn’t do that or he would potentially hurt his teammate. The coach told the kid to get back in line and continue drilling, the complaint says. The boy instead skated to the locker room, with his father in tow.

The criminal complaint says Tonda then came out and yelled at the coach and began choking him. The coach said he started blacking out from the assault.

When another coach pulled Tonda off the victim, he allegedly yelled “I’m gonna ******* kill you.”

Tonda has been charged with making terroristic threats and with fifth-degree assault. The former is a felony charge.

“Attacks of this nature upon youth athletic coaches are shocking and extremely disturbing,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.

Tonda appeared in court on Thursday and was released that evening.

His next court appearance is scheduled for March 26.


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