Hockey player accused of hitting ice arena employee |

Hockey player accused of hitting ice arena employee

A pretrial conference is scheduled for 10 this morning in a case that stems from an altercation at the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena between a participant in an adult league and an employee.

Mark Anthony Pardo was charged with one misdemeanor count of battery after allegedly striking Curtis “Chris” Perry, the ice arena recreation coordinator. Perry was hit in the face while in his office, according to South Lake Tahoe police officers. This was several hours after the two first tangled on the ice during a June 30 summer hockey league game.

Perry, who oversees all youth and adult recreation at the ice rink, later received medical attention at Barton Memorial Hospital. He said his jaw was dislocated.

Pardo could not be reached Thursday for comment.

His attorney, Scott Freeman, said the incident is a symptom of a larger problem — misbehavior on the part of ice arena management.

“It’s my understanding that this hasn’t been the first time Mr. Perry has been the subject of complaints because of his temper … and we will be exploring that in greater detail,” Freeman said.

After talking to Perry and Pardo, El Dorado County Assistant District Attorney Hans Uthe said that both participants received discipline during the game and that the altercation on the ice was minor.

Pardo’s teammates wouldn’t comment on the incident.

Perry said he was given a 4-minute penalty for the altercation and that Pardo was ejected from the game.

“It was time to move on and apparently one of them felt like he wasn’t ready to do that,” Uthe said.

Since the incident, Perry has elected not to participate in the recreation leagues.

“It’s in the best interest of the department and Chris Perry not to participate in the department that he supervises,” said ice arena General Manager Gary Moore.

Moore and Perry both possess the power to ban participants who act inappropriately. By playing in the recreation leagues in which they supervise, conflicts of interest could result.

Uthe said the district attorney’s office pursues any perceived acts of violence at the arena to ensure the safety of the facility.

“Everybody feels that they can drop off their child at any one of our activities and know that it’s safe. And that’s the key …,” said recreation Superintendent Judy Crawford. “We’ve worked very, very hard to get what we have today. I can’t tell you how much we value having good recreation programs.”

Uthe said that the pretrial conference has been set in an attempt to settle the case. If a settlement can’t be reached, the case will likely go to trial.

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