Witness: Guy Who Died at Patriots Game Got Punched First

Police are investigating the incident at Gillette Stadium
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 20, 2023 3:30 AM CDT
Witness: Guy Who Died at Patriots Game Got Punched First
FILE — Lights illuminate Gillette Stadium before an NFL football game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

A man who died at a New England Patriots home game last weekend was punched at least twice in the head during a fight in the stands with a rival fan, a witness said Tuesday. Police and safety personnel responded to the upper deck at Gillette Stadium shortly before 11pm Sunday and found Dale Mooney, 53, of Newmarket, New Hampshire, "in apparent need of medical attention," the Norfolk County district attorney's office said in a statement Monday. Mooney was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Massachusetts State Police are investigating what the district attorney termed an "incident" at the stadium, the AP reports. Gillette Stadium officials said they were "heartbroken" by the death of Mooney, who they described as a lifelong Patriots fan and 30-year season ticket holder.

Witness Joey Kilmartin shot video of what he said was a brutal fight. In interviews with several local media outlets, Kilmartin said he saw Mooney, a Patriots fan, confront a Miami Dolphins fan with whom he had been arguing during most of the game, which the Dolphins won. "He basically engaged in mutual combat with another fan," Kilmartin told the Boston Globe. "A lot of people started trying to pull them apart. ... It looked like somebody was in the middle of them, and then a man in the Dolphins jersey reached over and he connected with two punches to the victim's head. It wasn't something crazy or out of the ordinary until, 30 seconds later, the guy wasn't getting up." The results of an autopsy were expected this week, a spokesperson for the district attorney's office said.

(Read more New England Patriots stories.)

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