Some say the “rivalry” between Dallas and Fort Worth is just plain myth. Don’t try to tell that to hockey fans. On January 20, the Dallas Black Hawks and the Fort Worth Texans staged an on-the-ice brawl in Fair Park Coliseum that took some 20 minutes to sort out. Shortly after play resumed. Fort Worth scored a goal, and the Texans’ public relations man Doug Helton, sitting in the stands, stood and cheered. Whereupon he was promptly jumped by a few Dallas fans who didn’t appreciate his partisanship. Whereupon two Fort Worth hockey players, Richie Hansen and Chris Ahrens, who were also in the stands sitting out the game with injuries, promptly jumped the Dallas fans. Whereupon off-duty Dallas police, hired for security, promptly jumped the whole group.
There were several arrests, but only Hansen spent the night behind bars, under a $1.000 bond and the charge of felony assault on a police officer. Officer Donald Ortega has claimed that at least a few of Hansen’s blows landed on him.
The impending court case will be an intriguing one to watch for several reasons. It is, for one. yet another instance of sports-related violence finding its way to the courtroom. Secondly, it’s a case of a police officer filing against a civilian. And. perhaps most intriguing, is that it’s a Dallas officer versus a Fort Worth player. Some may say that hometown justice is a thing of the past – but the Fort Worth Texans didn’t waste any time hiring two of Dallas’ top defense attorneys, Gary Jackson and Emmett Colvin, to handle Hansen’s case. And you can bet that Jackson and Colvin will be sharp enough not to put any Dallas hockey fans on the jury.