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A witness said the man was punched before dying at a New England Patriots game.

DEDHAM, Mass. — Police are investigating the death of a New Hampshire man at a New England Patriots home game after a witness said he saw a Miami Dolphins fan hit the man in the head.

Police and staff responded to the upper deck of Gillette Stadium shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday against the Dolphins. Dale Mooney, 53, of Newmarket, New Hampshire, “was apparently in need of medical attention,” the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Monday. Mooney was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the news release.

“Numb. I just feel numb. I can’t even believe it’s real,” his wife, Lisa Mooney, told WCVB-TV. “I want to know what happened. what caused this?

In an interview with several local media outlets, Joey Kilmartin said he saw Mooney confront a rival Dolphins fan with whom he had been arguing for most of the game.

“He (Mooney) went to section 311 and he got into a fight with another fan,” Mooney told the Boston Globe. “A lot of people started trying to separate them. … It looked like someone was in section 311. in the middle of them, and then a man wearing a Dolphins jersey leaned over and he gave two punches to the victim’s head. It wasn’t anything crazy or out of the ordinary until, 30 seconds later, the guy wasn’t getting up.”

The results of the autopsy are expected this week, said a spokesperson for the prosecution.

“The death of a 53-year-old New Hampshire man following an incident in Stadium 300 of Gillette Stadium during the September 17, 2023 game is, per normal protocol, under investigation by “Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office,” the release said.

The Miami Dolphins defeated the Patriots in Sunday’s game. Gillette Stadium officials said they were heartbroken to learn of the death of Mooney, whom they described as a longtime Patriots fan and 30-year season ticket holder.

“We continue to work with local authorities to assist them in their ongoing investigation,” according to the statement. “We extend our deepest sympathies and deepest condolences to Dale’s family and all those who are mourning his loss.”

Fan violence at sporting events, particularly between rival fans, is a long-standing problem. Among the most famous cases was the 2011 savage beating of a paramedic and a San Francisco Giants fan by Los Angeles fans at Dodger Stadium. Giants fan Bryan Stow was awarded about $14 million when a jury found the team was negligent.

ABC News

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