Do you remember the video of that fight between Flyers and Rangers fans outside Geno’s after the Winter Classic? Well, the guys over at BroadStreetHockey.com, defenders of all things orange and black, asked their readers to help find the fan who assaulted a man wearing a Ryan Callahan jersey.
They didn’t have to look too far.
The alleged offender, Edward Neary, confessed his actions… on their Facebook page:
It seems Edward was about 12 hours behind the news cycle, which had quickly moved from head-shaking bloggers to the mainstream media… and then onto the police, who were looking for those involved. And they didn’t have any leads, either. This was their subject description, which was posted yesterday on the Philadelphia Police Department’s website: Three unknown males wearing Philadelphia Flyers Jerseys.
Yeah, they were searching for a needle in a haystack. Only this time the needle jumped up and told the world where and who he was.
But he didn't stop there.
Neary – who would later remove his comments and change his profile picture – kept commenting on Broad Street Hockey’s Facebook page, and eventually gave up all of his friends, too:
[One name removed, per an email request, which read: To Whom It May Concern: my name is [redacted] and I am requesting that my name be removed from your web page immediately as this is defamation of my character. I was in no way involved in this incident. Thank you.]
You hear that, fellas? Never let another man lick your girl's tit.
Travis Hughes, who runs Broad Street Hockey, kept digging, an action that proved to not be too difficult, since Neary accepted his friend request on Facebook. From Travis:
According to his Facebook profile, Neary is a 2009 graduate of Father Judge High School. He's also attended the Community College of Philadelphia, his interests are "Money" and "An More Money," and he speaks "Black Speech" and "Brown University." His "favorite athletes" are "Seriously I Will Punch You In The Fucking Face." How lovely.
How lovely indeed.
Broad Street Hockey turned over this information to police, whom I suspect will soon be contacting Neary and his former friends.
And the fun doesn’t stop there. It turns out, the victim, who was knocked out (or close to it) by Neary et al., is a Woodbridge, New Jersey police officer. From NJ.com:
Woodbridge officials confirmed one of the victims was a Woodbridge police officer who was off duty at the time of the attack.
"He took a severe beating," township spokesman John Hagerty said, adding that the officer was taken to a hospital, where he required stitches to close wounds. Hagerty refused to release the name of the officer, though News 12 New Jersey identified him as Neil Auricchio Jr.
UPDATE: The only thing dumber than confessing a crime on Facebook would be confessing a crime that you didn't commit.
One of Neary’s friends, Steven Michael McCloskey, chimed in:
And there's Ed – who will meet with detectives today – in the comments again:
I'm sure the police will find this all very hysterical.
UPDATE 2: Brian Thompson of NBC in New York:
— Brian Thompson (@brian4NY) January 5, 2012
UPDATE 3: The beaten fan was a Purple Heart recipient.
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