Patriots fan dies after reported fight during Dolphins game

Police are investigating the death of a New England Patriots fan at the team’s stadium during a game Sunday night against the Miami Dolphins.

Dale Mooney, a 53-year-old New Hampshire resident, was described by a witness as involved in an altercation shortly before his death. A spokesperson for the Massachusetts State Police said Monday (via WHDH) that the agency was “investigating the facts and circumstances of the man’s death, including the sequence of events prior to the medical incident.”

Authorities were awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine the cause of Mooney’s death.

Mooney was reportedly watching the game with friends while in an upper tier of Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., when he collapsed. Emergency medical personnel responded to the incident, per reports, shortly before 11 p.m., when the game was in the fourth quarter.

A witness who spoke with the Boston Globe said a confrontation between Patriots and Dolphins fans near Mooney’s section resulted in him approaching the rival group.

“[Mooney] went over to Section 311 and he basically engaged in mutual combat with another fan,” the witness, Joseph Kilmartin, told the 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.”

Kilmartin told the newspaper that he provided police with video he took of the incident. He said police led away the Dolphins fan involved.

“The man just went out,” Kilmartin said to Boston station WCVB of Mooney’s condition in the aftermath of the altercation. “It was pretty hard to watch.”

The Norfolk County (Mass.) district attorney’s office said Monday it was overseeing the state police probe into the incident. No charges have been filed.

Gillette Stadium officials said in a statement Tuesday that they were “heartbroken” to learn of the death of Mooney, who was described as a 30-year season ticket holder.

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

“I want to know what happened,” Mooney’s wife told WCVB. “What caused this?”

“I just don’t understand why people have to go to that extreme,” Lisa Mooney added. “Why can’t it just be fun? That’s all it’s supposed to be, a fun family event. … I just feel numb. I just can’t even believe this is for real.”

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