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Mar 23, 2016 3:11 PM

Manchester firefighter, father of basketball player, charged with assault for incident at game

WOLFEBORO - The father of a Merrimack Valley High School basketball player has been charged with assault after he allegedly shoved another person during a game between Kingswood Regional High School and Merrimack Valley.

Wolfeboro police say Thomas Defina, 44, of Penacook, turned himself in to their office on March 14 following a police investigation into an incident during the March 1 junior varsity basketball game. Defina is accused of shoving a minor who'd been cheering for Kingswood.

According to court documents, Defina told police the juvenile had followed the Merrimack Valley team toward the locker room and insulted them, telling them "they suck."

At the concession stand minutes later, Defina said he told the kid to keep his mouth shut. Defina said the kid then shoved him but he did not respond.

The juvenile, however tells a different story that was corroborated by video of the incident, according to the affidavit of the investigating officer.

The student described Defina as "getting into his face" at the concession stand and grabbing him by his sweatshirt. When the juvenile tried to withdraw, Defina shoved him in the back, pushing him into a friend.

The young man subsequently called his father, worried that the man would come after him again. The father then reported the incident to police.

Defina is a firefighter for the Manchester Fire Department.

The department told NH1 News that he is still an active firefighter, but there will be an internal investigation into the incident.

He was released on personal recognizance bail and given a court date of April 20 to appear in Ossipee District Court.

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