A screenshot from a video posted by Twitter user @ScottKaplanOn shows...

A screenshot from a video posted by Twitter user @ScottKaplanOn shows a man punching another patron while leaving Madison Square Garden follwing the Rangers' loss to the Lightning on Thursday, June 9, 2022.

A Staten Island man was charged with assault after punching a man wearing a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey at Madison Square Garden after the Rangers lost Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday night.

The New York Police Department's public information office confirmed Friday that James Anastasio, 29, was charged with two counts of assault, two counts of disorderly conduct and two counts of harassment. Police said he also punched another man while trying to exit the arena. 

The first punch was captured on video and circulated throughout social media. The video shows the assailant walking in front of the man wearing the Lightning jersey, then stopping, turning around and punching him in the face as they walked down a hall toward an exit. The man in the Lightning jersey, who was not identified, was knocked down by the punch and lay on the ground motionless while other fans attempted to help him. It is unclear from the video what led to the punch.

On Friday, Madison Square Garden announced that the fan will be banned from the arena for life.

"Last night, an abhorrent assault took place against a Tampa Bay fan at the conclusion of the game — followed by a second assault against an individual who bravely intervened," the Garden wrote in a statement posted on its social media accounts. "First, we ensured the victims received appropriate medical care and have followed up to provide support from our guest services team. Equally important, we are cooperating fully with law enforcement as this is now a criminal matter. The assailant will also be banned from The Garden and all other MSG venues for life."

The Rangers lost Game 5, 3-1, and now trail in the series, 3-2. Game 6 is Saturday night in Tampa. Game 7, if necessary, would be at The Garden on Tuesday at 8 p.m. 

With Anthony M. DeStefano

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