NY men charged with assault after allegedly leaving Ravens fan with severe brain injury
"My brother's 55 years old and two Raiders fans attacked him … over stupid fan rivalry or fan fanaticism or something."
A man is fighting for his life after a pair of New Yorkers, one of whom is a firefighter, allegedly beat him at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Sunday night as the Ravens played the Oakland Raiders.
Joseph Bauer, 55, of Maryland, is hospitalized with severe brain injury, and is displaying symptoms "consistent with a major stroke," family members told the Baltimore Sun. He's a former Marine.
Scott Smith, 28, of Mount Vernon, and Andrew Nappi, 31, of Eastchester,were chargedwith first- and second-degree assault forthe attack that Ravens coach John Harbaugh has called "absolutely inexcusable."
Bauer's sister told WBAL-TV that her brother, who was attending the game with his wife, let another woman cut ahead of them in the concession line. The pair of Westchester County men approached Bauer toward the end of the game and reportedly punched him in the back of the head, causing him to fall forward.
According to the Sun, Nappi told police that Bauer threw a bottle that hit Smith in the head. M&T Stadium sells only plastic and aluminum bottles.
"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," Bauer's sister Susan told WBAL-TV. "I don't know what their motivations are. I just hope that they understand that they have altered our lives in the most tragic and terrible way. He's just a good man who loved football."
The pair were booked at the Baltimore City Detention Center, and were released after posting bond: $50,000 for Smith and $25,000 for Nappi.
The Journal News identified Smith as a rookie firefighter in Mount Vernon, sworn in this past March. He's been suspended without pay, pending further investigation.
Ravens president Dick Cass reached out to Bauer's family, and the team released a statement:
"Our sympathies and prayers go out to Mr. Joseph Bauer, his wife Sharon and the rest of his family. … We are deeply concerned about this assault and are learning as much as we can about it. Safety for our fans is a top priority. Confrontational and inflammatory behavior is never tolerated and is unacceptable at Ravens home games."