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Winthrop father to be charged with pointing laser at players

By Zachary T. Sampson
Globe Correspondent / March 7, 2012
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A Winthrop father who is accused of shining a green laser beam at players during a girls’ high school hockey game will be charged with disturbing the peace, the Suffolk district attorney’s office said Tuesday.

Joseph Cordes, 42, stood alone in an upper corner of the bleachers at Larsen Rink in Winthrop during a Feb. 29 playoff game between Medway-Ashland and Winthrop High School, pointing a laser at the Medway-Ashland goalie, the district attorney’s office said.

A call to Cordes was not answered Tuesday. Cordes is the father of one of the players on the Winthrop High team.

Cordes’s alleged disruption clouded Winthrop’s eventual 3-1 victory, and the Medway-Ashland team filed an appeal with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The MIAA denied the appeal, saying game officials determined Cordes’s actions were not game-changing and the association would not overturn the official’s decision.

Still disturbed about what he believes was an unjust loss, Medway-Ashland coach Kurt Carter said Tuesday that he is nevertheless happy that authorities followed up by bringing the court charge.

“I think if it went completely unpunished, it probably doesn’t send the lesson that needs to be sent,’’ he said.

Carter said the charge against Cordes does nothing to take away the pain of a playoff loss.

“I think from a hockey perspective, we’re certainly still disappointed,’’ he said. “There was a distinct impact on the game, and we weren’t allowed to play an even, straight-up game with Winthrop.’’

Winthrop athletic director Peter Gobiel was at a boys’ hockey game and could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Phillip Hamer, the father of Medway-Ashland goalie Kathryn Hamer, said he is “in favor of the process’’ the district attorney and Winthrop Police Department are following, but wishes they had leveled a more serious charge against Cordes.

“I’m not sure if disturbing the peace is quite enough, because I think this man had a malicious intent,’’ he said.

Hamer said his daughter suffered from a sense of “momentary confusion’’ when the laser flashed across her mask, but she is healthy now.

He said he is not sure if his family will pursue a civil case against Cordes.

Sampson can be reached at zachary.sampson@globe.com.

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