The New Hampshire father of two who died after an incident at Gillette Stadium during the New England Patriots-Miami Dolphins game on Sunday was punched in the face and knocked unconscious by a Dolphins fan, according to a witness.
Dale Mooney, 53, was treated at the scene by paramedics and rushed to hospital after what was described as an “apparent medical event” but was pronounced dead shortly before midnight.
A spectator has now claimed to have witnessed a physical altercation between Mooney and a Dolphins fan.
“The Dolphins fan comes up and clearly punches him in the face,” Joey Kilmartin, of Nashua, New Hampshire, told MassLive. “(He) gets eliminated and you can tell right away he’s not doing well.”
Kilmartin told the outlet that Mooney also got into a physical confrontation with other fans near the end of the fourth quarter.
He said Mooney never regained consciousness after being punched and that paramedics performed CPR on him before rushing him to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro.
“It’s an unfortunate situation. I feel bad for the family,” said Kilmartin, who described the incident to Foxborough police.
He provided video of the incident to WCVB, which published footage from the clip showing Mooney having his shirt removed.
The footage shows Mooney approaching other fans on the 300 level of the stadium.
“He basically grabbed another fan,” Kilmartin told WCVB. “They started fighting for a few minutes. At one point another fan arrived. He hit him…and the man came out. It was quite difficult to watch.
Mooney’s wife, Lisa, said she felt “numb” and was searching for answers about the tragedy.
“I want to know what happened. What caused this? she told WCVB. “I just don’t understand why people have to go to this extreme. Why can’t it just be fun? It’s everything it’s supposed to be: a fun family event.
Lisa said her husband – a father of two and a season ticket holder for 30 years – went to the match with three friends who told him they had been taunted by other fans.
“It takes a lot to make him angry.” He has the patience of a saint. I don’t know what happened,” Lisa told the outlet, adding that her husband had no health problems that she knew of.
No charges have been filed, although Kilmartin told MassLive he saw cops arrest a man.
Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office were assigned the investigation. Autopsy results are pending.
New York Post