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Three Sought in Philadelphia Beating After NHL's Winter Classic

 

Three men are being sought by Philadelphia police for a brutal beating caught on videotape following Monday's NHL Winter Classic game.

The assault, which took place at 7:15 p.m. outside of Geno's Steaks at 9th Street and Passyunk Avenue, left two men injured, one of them seriously.

In a 2-minute video posted on the Philadelphia Police Department's YouTube page, an unidentified man wearing a No. 28 Claude Giroux Flyers jersey can be seen removing his coat before punching another man who was wearing a Rangers jersey. The victim, who has been identified in reports as Neal Auricchio, a New Jersey police officer and former Marine who served in Iraq, is then punched and kicked by three men while on the ground.

Attempts to reach Auricchio were unsuccessful early Thursday. His father told NBCNewYork.com that "he got banged up pretty badly" in the assault.

"Stitches in the one eye, and the other eye is pretty puffed up," Auricchio told the website. "He went for a CAT scan [Wednesday], and we're waiting for the results on that."

The assault occurred shortly after Monday's NHL Winter Classic. The Flyers lost 3-2.

Police sources told MyFoxPhilly.com that tempers flared when a group of Flyers fans bribed a man washing car windows nearby to squirt water on a couple of Rangers fans.

On Wednesday, a man boasted on Facebook that he was responsible for the attack.

"[I]t was me and friends do something about it," read a posting by Edward Neary, who then used a homophobic slur.

Neary's Facebook profile, which has since been deleted, indicated that he graduated from high school in 2009. He later blamed the incident on his friends, identifying three by name, and claimed the Rangers fans instigated the fight.

Neary made the claim on a Facebook page for Flyers fans called "Broad Street Hockey." The operator of the page had posted video of the fight in an effort to help police identify the attackers.

Beth Werkstell, of Manhattan, who attended the game with her father Harvey, said she was "not surprised" by the incident given the long, heated history between the two teams.

"But I hate seeing it get violent," Werkstell told FoxNews.com. "The Winter Classic is the biggest game of the regular season so it is naturally tense. Add that to an incredibly close game between two teams who are next to each other in the standings, and it just added to the intensity."

No arrests have been made as of early Thursday. Anyone with information regarding this assault is asked to call the Philadelphia Police Department at (215) 686-3013.

FoxNews.com's Joshua Rhett Miller and Newscore contributed to this report.

Click here for more on this report from MyFoxPhilly.com.

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