Report: Charges levied against 2 men in connection to death of fan at New England Patriots-Miami Dolphins game

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Charges have been brought against two men who were involved in the death of a fan when the Miami Dolphins played at the New England Patriots earlier this season.

Dale Mooney, a 53-year-old from New Hampshire, was pronounced dead at the hospital after he was punched at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. during the game on Sept. 17.

Two Rhode Island residents – 59-year-old John Vieira and 39-year-old Justin Mitchell — were charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct by Foxborough Police earlier this month.

The Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office ruled the death a homicide, but based on evidence including the autopsy results and video from the stadium failed to establish a basis to criminally prosecute that particular charge.

The District Attorney’s Office revealed the cause of death.

“Probable cardiac dysrhythmia in a person with severe hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease during a physical altercation,” the report said.

That result coincides with earlier reports on the matter. Vieira and Mitchell have separate court dates scheduled for January.

Mooney was described as a lifelong Patriots fan and longtime season ticket holder. He reportedly was punched by a man wearing a Dolphins jersey and fell to the ground and never regained consciousness.

The Dolphins won the NFL Week 2 game 24-17. Miami held a 17-3 halftime lead and a fourth-quarter touchdown run by Raheem Mostert gave the Dolphins a 24-10 lead.

The victory was part of a season-opening three-game winning streak for the Dolphins, who started the 2023 campaign with a 5-1 record.

As the first place team in the AFC East, the Dolphins are taking a 10-4 mark into their high-profile game Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys, who are the leaders of the NFC East.

Currently sitting as the No. 2 seed in the AFC, Miami has yet to officially clinch a playoff berth with three games remaining. The Dolphins could have back Tyreek Hill after the star wide receiver sat out their win against the New York Jets last Sunday with an ankle injury. The 29-year-old was a limited participant in practice Thursday.

However, the Dolphins may be down to one usual starting offensive lineman in a tough matchup against the Cowboys defense on Christmas Eve.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NFL for almost three decades. He has been an avid follower of the AFC East since the days of Bob Griese and is looking forward to an exciting new era in the division.