A 55-year-old Maryland man was hospitalized with a serious brain injury after two men from Westchester County allegedly punched him in the head during a Baltimore Ravens-Oakland Raiders game in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon. Police said the Westchester men, reportedly Raiders fans, beat Ravens season ticket holder Joseph Bauer after he let a woman cut them in a concessions line.
"We're clinging to hope," Bauer's sister, Susan Bauer, told the Baltimore Sun on Monday. "He's still not responsive and not awake, and we don't know the extent of his brain damage. The doctors said it was consistent with a major stroke."
"From what I understand, he was punched in the back of the head and he fell forward," she told local radio station WBAL. "My brother's 55 years old and two Raiders fans attacked him and punched him in the head and knocked him unconscious over stupid fan rivalry or fan fanaticism or something."
Scott Smith, 30, of Mount Vernon, New York and Andrew Nappi, 31, of Eastchester, New York, were both charged with assault in the first and second degree.
Baltimore police posted on Facebook that officers patrolling Sunday's Ravens game were alerted around 3:30 p.m. of a fight in progress on one of the stadium's exit ramps. By the time they arrived on the scene, Bauer was lying on the ground, unresponsive. Smith and Nappi were observed walking away from the victim.
"It was determined that a verbal altercation between the victim and these individuals, became physical," the Baltimore PD wrote. "During this physical altercation, the victim was pushed to the ground and struck the back of his head, causing him to lose consciousness."
According to WBAL, Smith and Nappi approached Bauer, who was attending the game with his wife, after he allegedly let another person cut them in line for food and drink. They allegedly punched Bauer in the head from behind, causing him to fall and strike his head on the concrete.
Smith is a firefighter in Mount Vernon, according to the Journal News. Mount Vernon Fire Chief Al Everett told reporters that Smith, who joined the department in March, has been suspended without pay. He added that Smith was a "fine young man" who had been an "exemplary candidate" in the fire academy.