A Jessup man remained hospitalized Monday after suffering a severe brain injury in a fight at Sunday’s Ravens game against the visiting Oakland Raiders.
Police charged two men from New York in the fight and Ravens Coach John Harbaugh called the alleged assault “absolutely inexcusable” at a news conference Monday.
“Whatever security has to be out there, whatever has to be done, will be done,” Harbaugh said. “This is just not what we’re about, and we’re not going to have it at M&T Bank Stadium.”
remained in critical condition Monday at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
“We’re clinging to hope,” his sister, Susan Bauer, said. “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.”
Scott Smith, 30, of Mt. Vernon, N.Y., and Andrew Nappi, 31, of Eastchester, N.Y., were both charged with first- and second-degree assault. They did not return messages seeking comment.
Nappi told police an argument turned physical after Bauer threw a bottle and hit Smith in the head, according to charging documents. Only plastic and aluminum bottles are sold at the stadium. Nappi walked up and punched Bauer in the face, he told police.
Smith then shoved Bauer to the ground and he hit his head, Bauer’s wife, Sharon, told police.
Bauer was knocked unconscious. Another witness, Gary Greggs, confirmed the account to officers, police wrote in charging documents. Greggs could not be reached Monday.
It remains unclear what led the men to argue.
“We’re just left in shock that something this stupid could happen, and so senseless,” Susan Bauer said. “I don’t know who these people are. I don’t know why this happened. I just hope they realize they have altered all of our lives beyond anything that we could have imagined.”
She said her family was called Monday by Ravens President Dick Cass.
“We’re very touched by the outpouring of sympathy and support,” she said.
She said her brother is a Marine veteran who works at Schuster Concrete. He has two grown children — a daughter who is a dentist in the Navy and a son who also works at Schuster Concrete — and he has been a Ravens fan since the team started.
“Here’s a man and a family that have been longtime season ticket holders, that know the people here that work in the building, that love the Ravens and have been to countless numbers of games at M&T Bank Stadium without incident,” Harbaugh said at the news conference. “Then all of a sudden, there’s an incident where a gentleman is assaulted by somebody. That’s just not what we’re about. We’re a family. It’s a family atmosphere.”
Smith is a rookie firefighter in the Mount Vernon Fire Department, Chief Al Everett said. Smith has been suspended without pay pending an investigation, Everett said.
Everett said the department was praying for and his family.
“It’s a shame that this thing happened,” Everett said.
As a firefighter Smith won awards for “enthusiasm and esprit de corps.”
“I found him hard working and conscientious. We were all surprised by this,” Everett said. “We also feel very sorry for, and are concerned about, Scott and his family.”
Smith and Nappi were Raiders fans, police said.
The fight was similar to an incident nearly three years ago that left a 23-year-old man seriously injured at an Orioles baseball game. Matthew Fortese, of Hagerstown, was watching the Orioles game with a date, when he was taunted by some men. Fortese wore a Yankees hat.
When the men tossed a beer at him around the seventh inning, Fortese climbed a railing in front of their seats and confronted them. Gregory Fleischman, of Edgewater, punched Fortese, sending him onto the concrete below where he hit his head, prosecutors said. Fortese was in a coma for months and suffered brain damage.
Fleischman accepted a plea offer of 10 days in jail and $15,000 restitution to the victim. Another man, Michael Bell, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but three days suspended, and five years probation.
Sunday’s fight left a black eye on the Ravens-Raiders matchup, said Rodney Scott, a Raiders booster club organizer.
“Who were these two guys?” he said.
Nappi and Smith were not members of the booster club, Scott said.
“Some folks can get a little alcohol in their system and get a little carried away,” he said.
Susan Bauer said her family was arriving Monday at Shock Trauma to comfort her brother and his wife. Joseph and Sharon Bauer own season tickets and attend most Ravens home games.
“I think after this,” Susan Bauer said, “we’ll all think twice before going to a game.”
Reporters Carrie Wells and Edward Lee contributed to this article.
(c)2016 The Baltimore Sun — www.baltimoresun.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.