Man arrested for suspected manslaughter of former Nottingham Panthers player posts bail
Police say a person who was taken into custody for the death of a man who died after his throat was slashed by a skate blade late last month is now out on bail.
South Yorkshire police announced Wednesday the man their detectives arrested one day earlier on suspicion of manslaughter in the death of 29-year-old Adam Johnson, who played for the Nottingham Panthers, has been released on police bail. As of Wednesday, police have yet to release the suspect’s name.
No other details were provided in Wednesday’s update, other than officials saying their investigation is ongoing and they will provide updates when they can.
As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Johnson, a Hibbing native who went on to play hockey for the University of Minnesota – Duluth, died on Oct. 28 after a severe neck injury during a game in England’s pro league. At that time, the Panthers said Johnson died “following a freak accident” at a game in Sheffield.
Video showed Johnson collide with an opponent mid-ice, and after standing up, he was helped off the ice by a teammate while trying to skate toward his bench.
Johnson’s family continues to ask for privacy. Reached by email, a spokesperson for the Nottingham Panthers declined to comment on an ongoing police investigation.
Becs Horsfall, the Detective Chief Superintendent, issued the following statement regarding the arrest:
“Our investigation launched immediately following this tragedy and we have been carrying out extensive enquiries ever since to piece together the events which led to the loss of Adam in these unprecedented circumstances. We have been speaking to highly specialized experts in their field to assist in our enquiries and continue to work closely with the health and safety department at Sheffield City Council, which is supporting our ongoing investigation. Adam’s death has sent shockwaves through many communities, from our local residents here in Shefield to ice hockey fans across the world. We know these communities will expect us to handle this investigation with the same professionalism, fairness and sensitivity as any other and request that members of the public refrain from comment and speculation which could hinder this process. Our thoughts remain with all affected by this devastating incident as enquiries continue.”
A celebration of life for Johnson was held in Hibbing earlier this month. His death has prompted a renewed push for players of all ages to wear protective neck gear.