The Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office is looking into a sad occurrence that happened on Sunday night at a Dolphins-Patriots game in the 300-level seats at Gillette Stadium. One Patriots fan, 53-year-old Dale Mooney, died in the event, which happened just before 11:00 p.m. local time, when a brawl broke out.
Mooney, a resident of Newmarket, New Hampshire, had been watching Sunday Night Football with some friends and had been a season ticket holder for the New England Patriots for 30 years. Things apparently got heated when Mooney was being heckled by a few Miami Dolphins supporters near the end of the game.
Videos captured by close spectators show a fight starting between Mooney and an unidentified Dolphins supporter. The Dolphins fan repeatedly punched Mooney in the face during one exchange of blows, which caused Mooney to lose consciousness and collapse into a chair. A medical team arrived at the scene quickly.
Dale Mooney experienced a ‘apparent medical episode’ in the game’s fourth quarter, according to Massachusetts State Police. Mooney’s resuscitation attempts by security and medical staff failed. The next stop was Sturdy Memorial Hospital, which is roughly 30 minutes away from the stadium.
Less than an hour after the event, Mooney was transported to the hospital and later declared dead. The Medical Examiner, who will ascertain the cause of death, has not yet provided a response to the investigators. No complaints have been made against the Dolphins fan as of yet.
Joey Kilmartin, who witnessed and recorded the incident, said in an interview following the game, “The guy in the Dolphins jersey got hauled away by police and that’s when everybody noticed something was wrong. A minute or so later the guy still hadn’t made any movement it really didn’t look like he was breathing.”
Kilmartin described the altercation as “hard to watch” and “unsettling” for him as well as for everyone else who had to see it. What the Dolphins supporters said to Dale Mooney is unknown. Even when it involves opposing teams, scenes like this have no place in a sporting setting.
Lisa Mooney, Dale Mooney’s wife, characterized her husband as a “good dad” to their two adult sons, who weren’t there at the game when he collapsed, in an interview with Boston 25 News. She was questioning how anything like this could occur in a setting that values families, especially her husband.
He is difficult to enrage. He is a saint of patience. She added that Dale Mooney had no known medical issues that would have contributed to his demise. “I don’t know what happened,” she stated of her husband. “Numb… Simply put, I’m numb. I simply cannot believe this is actually happening. I’m curious as to what transpired.
Until the Medical Examiner does an autopsy on Dale’s remains, detectives cannot say for certain whether his death was a direct result of the altercation that started. Charges will eventually need to be brought, but how serious they are will depend on the results of the autopsy.
However, Lisa Mooney has a straightforward message for everyone who intends to watch a sporting event in the future. “I just don’t get why people must act in such an extreme manner. Why isn’t it just enjoyable? It’s just meant to be a nice family affair, she continued. We are praying for the Mooney family.