A coroner ruled the death of a New England Patriots fan after a fight at a September game was a homicide, but prosecutors decided not to charge two men involved in the fight with murder-related crimes after reviewing the evidence, the Norfolk, Massachusetts-based newspaper reported. The prosecutor said Thursday.
Instead, the two men were charged with assault and battery as well as disorderly conduct for the altercation that led to the death of Dale Mooney, a 53-year-old season ticket holder from New Hampshire who collapsed during the fight, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. said. Morrissey said.
John Vieira, 59, and Justin Mitchell, 39, both of Warwick, Rhode Island, will be arraigned on harassment charges in Wrentham District Court in January.
Mitchell’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and court records did not indicate that Vieira had an attorney. The Patriots declined to comment.
The fight took place on the 300 level at Gillette Stadium during the fourth quarter of the Patriots-Dolphins game on September 17, and escalated into a verbal altercation.
Fans who witnessed the incident told multiple media outlets that the vitriol turned violent after Mooney confronted a Dolphins fan during the game. A Dolphins fan was captured on phone video landing at least one blow in Mooney’s direction, according to the Boston Globe.
Police and emergency personnel found Mooney “in apparent need of medical care,” the district attorney’s office said, according to the Associated Press. Mooney was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, officials told multiple outlets.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death to be “probable arrhythmia in a person with severe hypertension and cardiovascular disease due to atherosclerosis during a physical altercation.” He added that the prosecutor’s office used the autopsy results and multiple video angles of the incident to determine the charges.
Gillette Stadium officials at the time said in a statement that they were “saddened” by the death.
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