Mike Milbury will not face charges

Mike Milbury emerged from a Brookline court today after a hearing into assault allegations against him. No charges were filed.
Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe
Mike Milbury emerged from a Brookline court yesterday after a hearing into assault allegations against him. No charges were filed.

BROOKLINE—A Brookline court official decided yesterday that TV hockey analyst Mike Milbury, a former Boston Bruins defenseman and coach, will not face criminal charges after he was accused of roughing up a 12-year-old player at his son’s hockey game.

Milbury was accused by Brookline police of assault and battery, making threats, and disorderly conduct after breaking up a fight between his son and another player during their Dec. 9 youth hockey game at which Milbury was an assistant coach.

During a closed-door hearing in District Court yesterday, acting clerk-magistrate Edward F. Savage concluded there was not enough evidence to bring criminal charges against the 59-year-old Needham resident, a hockey analyst for NBC.


Milbury told reporters after the hearing that he was pleased with the court’s ruling.

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‘‘Well, that’s good that it’s over a couple days before Christmas,’’ Milbury said. ‘‘It was an unfortunate misunderstanding.’’

In an interview with the Globe last week, Milbury admitted to grabbing the boy by his shirt collar and swearing at him, but said he did so to break up a fight between the players, both 12 years old. Milbury said the boy had taunted his son throughout the hockey game.

No video was shown at the hearing, which took about three hours. Neither Milbury’s son nor the other boy was present at the hearing.

‘‘I wished it had never come to this,’’ Milbury said in a phone conversation after the hearing. ‘‘It’s two weeks I’ll never forget, and at some point down the road, I’ll want to talk about it at some length. But for now, I’ll just say it was all Kafka-esque.’’


Milbury, who had taken a break from his job as a television analyst of the NHL, said he will return to NBC next week.

He said his son is relieved that the case is concluded.

‘‘We’ll be having another conversation,’’ Milbury said. ‘‘We’ve had many about this. I’ll be looking forward to another one, and he probably won’t.’’

The parents of the boy grabbed by Milbury appeared somber as they walked out of the courtroom yesterday. They declined to talk to reporters, but John Burke, their attorney, said after the hearing that the family believes the decision not to charge Milbury ‘‘sends a message’’ that violent acts by an adult against a child will be tolerated, Burke said.

‘‘This is about the actions of a 59-year-old man, an ex-NHL hockey player and coach, who had inappropriate actions and reactions toward the activities of a 12-year-old child,’’ Burke said.


Burke said the family did not have plans to file a civil lawsuit against Milbury. ‘‘Money has never been an issue, and has never been discussed,’’ Burke said.

Shortly after the hearing, police released 11 pages of documents about the incident, which contained interviews with the boy grabbed by Milbury, the boy’s father, and another parent at the rink.

The boy was interviewed on Dec. 14, without his parents in the room.

‘‘He described the game as having a lot of trash talking and being chippy on both sides,’’ the report states. ‘‘[He] went on to say that that in the second period there was a scuffle in front of the net between him and an opposing player [redacted] causing the referee to send both players off the ice with a warning.’’

The boy said that the game continued with the same ‘‘chippy’’ back-and-forth between the two teams. At one point, the boy told police, Milbury shouted to the referee that he wanted him taken off the ice.

‘‘During the game the trash talk and pushing and shoving between the players continued to the end,’’ the police report states.

A skills competition followed with players shooting one-on-one on goalies. During the second round, the boy said that he and Milbury’s son exchanged words, which led to a fight.

The boy said coaches had already separated the two players when Milbury ran onto the ice and grabbed him by the uniform.

‘‘He began to shake him back and forth and lifted him up so that [redacted] was on his toes,’’ the report states. ‘‘Milbury was screaming, ‘What did you [expletive] say to him? I’mg oing to [expletive] kill you.’ ’’

Police said two other coaches then separated Milbury from the player.

‘‘The boy stated that the incident lasted about 30 seconds and that during it he was afraid that Coach Milbury was going to hit him,’’ the police report states.

Following the court ruling, Brookline police captain Thomas Keaveney said the department will not pursue the investigation any further.

‘‘The clerk-magistrate felt there was not enough evidence to bring this case forward, that he somehow believed that there wasn’t, in fact, any crime committed,’’ Keaveney said. ‘‘So that’s the end of the story. It’s over.’’

Kevin Paul Dupont of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Martine Powers can be reached at John R. Ellement can be reached at