- ‘Optionally piloted’ Black Hawk helicopter clears tests; future missions to go ‘fully unmanned’
- Vice News reporter kidnapped in Ukraine is freed after being beaten, blindfolded
- FCC’s new ‘net neutrality’ proposal sparks outrage among consumer advocates
- Families of ferry’s lost confront South Korean officials
- 2-week truce for Sriracha hot sauce maker, California city
- NYC’s de Blasio seeks to ban wood-burning fireplaces
- Residents angry Obama mispronounced town’s name during mudslide visit
- Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
- Netanyahu’s driver accused of raping girls under age 12
- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
Trip to Baltimore ballpark leads to serious injuries after fans fight
Matthew Fortese should be ironing out a best-man speech for his brother’s wedding, but instead the 25-year-old is relearning how to talk. Rather than making friends at the new job he was supposed to start two weeks ago, he is settling in at an inpatient rehabilitation center.
Mr. Fortese’s life is a far cry from what it was last month before he attended a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore and was seriously injured by another sports fan. But while attorneys on Monday pleaded for additional witnesses to what happened, Mr. Fortese’s family said they are just thankful he’s alive.
Speaking on behalf of his parents, 30-year-old James “Jimmy” Fortese said his family is “taking it one day at a time” while Matthew heals.
“This assault has turned our lives upside down,” Mr. Fortese said. “It’s coming back a little bit. He’s slowly starting to ask some more questions and recognizing people around him. But the next breath, he’ll say something totally off the wall that makes no sense.”
Court documents state that during the May 29 game between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles, Mr. Fortese began arguing with two men, 22-year-old Gregory Fleischman, and 21-year-old Michael Bell, because they were throwing beer on fans, including him.
Mr. Fortese climbed a 5-foot stairway, documents state, to the seats where the two men were sitting. During an argument, the court records say, Mr. Fleischman “punched Matthew Fortese on the side of his head with his fist causing Mr. Fortese to fall off the wall onto his head and knock him unconscious.”
Nathan Steelman, 25, an off-duty Maryland State Trooper, was nearby and performed CPR on Mr. Fortese. Court documents state that while Mr. Steelman tried to save Mr. Fortese, the two other fans involved in the scuffle were “spitting” on both of them.
Mr. Fortese arrived at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center conscious and confused, and doctors soon found bleeding in his head. Over the next few days, Mr. Fortese underwent emergency brain surgery and was kept in the intensive care unit under the careful watch of doctors, family and friends.
On Sunday, Mr. Fontese was moved to an inpatient rehabilitation center for physical and occupational therapy.
The incident at Camden Yards is not the first report of fan-on-fan violence. In 2011, 42-year-old paramedic Bryan Stow was assaulted by two fans during a game in Los Angeles between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants. His injuries require constant care, and he just returned home from a treatment center this month.
Ryan Diviney, 24, was a West Virginia University student when he suffered brain damage after he was beaten during a fight in 2009 that escalated from words exchanged about the World Series.
“A guy takes a second date to an Orioles’ game,” said Baltimore-based attorney Andrew Alperstein, who is representing Mr. Fortese. “This is not what she signed up for, not what he signed up for, not what his mom, dad and brother were hoping for.”
Mr. Alperstein said that he has not ruled anything in or out in terms of filing a lawsuit.
“This kind of behavior at sporting events has no place,” Mr. Alperstein said. “It’s outrageous, it ruins lives, it’s irresponsible, and it’s not what sportsmanship and games are all about.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Chris Brown's assault trial delayed by D.C. judge
- In the company of a saint: Catholic Church will canonize Pope John Paul and Pope John XXIII
- Chris Brown assault trial delayed again
- '8THEIST' plate denial sparks lawsuit in New Jersey
- Faith scores again at the box office
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Obamacare class-action suit opens a new legal front
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- List Hillary Clinton's successes? State Dept. spokeswoman flubs answer
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014