COLUMBUS, Ohio – Police say a local hockey fan made physical threats against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a series of phone calls to the team’s arena during a game against the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.
Peter Stenzel, 52, was arrested Thursday and charged with inducing panic for threatening physical harm against the team during the Jackets’ 5-0 win over the Calgary Flames, Columbus Police Sgt. Rick Weiner said.
Weiner says police traced the phone calls to Stenzel’s Columbus home, where they found him wearing a Flames T-shirt. Police would not say if specific players were targeted or what the threats entailed.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the calls were directed toward rookie Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason. Sources told the Dispatch that Stenzel threatened to “shoot” and “bomb” the rookie during the game.
“They got his number from caller ID, and it was given to special duty officers,” Weiner told the newspaper. “When they got to his residence, he was upset. He’s a passionate hockey fan.”
Mason made 33 saves for a franchise-record 10th shutout.
The Dispatch reported that the phone calls were placed between 7:45 p.m. and 8:11 p.m. Police officers were placed around all of the arena’s entrances.
Blue Jackets spokesman Todd Sharrock didn’t comment on the specific incident but said the club has procedures in place to respond to security threats to players and coaches.
Stenzel was being held at the Franklin County Jail pending a Saturday court hearing.
Columbus and Calgary are potential first-round playoff opponents. The Flames are in third place in the Western Conference with eight games to play, while the sixth-place Blue Jackets are attempting to qualify for their first playoff appearance ever.
-With files from The Canadian Press