Report: New England Patriots fan passes away after being punched by Miami Dolphins fan on Sunday

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Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

A New England Patriots fan has passed away after being punched by a Miami Dolphins fan at Gillette Stadium on Sunday.

The Patriots fan fell to the ground after being punched in the face and never regained consciousness, a witness told MassLive.

The late fan, 53-year-old Dale Mooney of Newmarket, N.H., was a husband, father and longtime season ticket holder.

“While the incident remains under investigation, a spectator told MassLive he saw the physical altercation that happened between Mooney and a Dolphins fan,” wrote Luis Fieldman.

“There was bickering back and forth throughout the game between one section of the crowd and another, and towards the end of the fourth quarter, he noticed Mooney in a physical altercation with other spectators, according to Joey Kilmartin, of Nashua, New Hampshire.

“‘The Dolphins fan walks over and clearly punches him in the face,’ Kilmartin said. ‘(He) gets knocked out and you can tell right away he’s not OK.’

“Mooney never got back up and EMTs arrived to perform CPR, according to Kilmartin, who later gave his account to Foxborough police.

“‘It’s an unfortunate situation,’ he said. ‘I feel bad for the family.'”

It’s clearly a heartbreaking and avoidable situation that resulted in a needless death.

Mooney’s wife Lisa spoke to WCVB about the tragedy.

“I just don’t understand why people have to go to that extreme,” she said. “Why can’t it just be fun? That’s all it’s supposed to be, a fun family event.”

While there are very few details available at this time, the death has certainly rattled the football community and broken the hearts of many. Unfortunately, fights among fans at sporting events aren’t exactly rare occurrences, and one can only hope that a tragedy like this one will cause folks to think twice about the potential consequences of physical altercations going forward.

The incident happened in the 300-tier section of Gillette Stadium. Fans were in attendance for the Week 2 game between the Dolphins and Patriots. The two teams typically play each other twice per season, once at each other’s home stadiums.

The situation is under investigation, so more information and details will likely become available in the future.

It was a chaotic day at Gillette Stadium overall, as another fan nearly lost his life after going into cardiac arrest. Fortunately, a pair of local firefighters saved the fan’s life by giving him CPR.

Football certainly becomes an afterthought in times of life and death, and the importance of Sunday’s meeting between the Dolphins and Patriots definitely pales in comparison to everything else that unfolded at Gillette Stadium.

Regarding the death of the Patriots fan, according to a spokesman for the state police, they are investigating “the facts and circumstances of the man’s death, including the sequence of events prior to the medical incident.”

The story will be worth monitoring as it continues to unfold.

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Jason is excited to cover the Miami Dolphins. He is a sports writer who has followed the NFL for over a decade.