EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (PIX11) — Four people have been charged in connection with Sunday’s brawl between Jets and Patriots fans that broke out after New York’s razor-thin victory at MetLife Stadium.
The four have been charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct offenses in the Sunday afternoon incident.
The heated exchange between lifelong Jets fan Kurt Paschke, 38, of Holbrook, N.Y., and Patriots fan Jaclyn Nugent, 26, of Boston, became a sensation after video leaked of the brawl.
Both were charged, as were Amanda MacDowell, 25, of Marlborough Mass., and David James Sacco, 28, of Boston.
“After a thorough review of the evidence, the investigation revealed that Amanda MacDowell and Jaclyn Nugent were observed kicking and punching Paschke in the body and head. Shortly thereafter, Paschke was observed striking Nugent with a punch to the face. David James Sacco was then observed striking Paschke in the face,” New Jersey State Police said in a statement.
Former NYPD Detective Sal Lifrieri, who saw video of the exchange for the first time Tuesday afternoon, echoed what one member of law enforcement at MetLife Stadium told PIX11 News Tuesday afternoon. “This was a mutually combative situation,” Lifrieri said.
The suspects are to appear at East Rutherford Municipal Court, and the case will likely proceed without a prosecutor or jury. A judge would work off a prosecutor’s recommendation before rendering a decision.
However, Lifrieri indicated this case may be handled differently because of its notoriety.
Lifrieri says the case should have never reached this point had better measures been in place at MetLife Stadium.
“What we really need to do is establish the tripwires that we have back to terrorism. These fights don’t start instantaneously. They brew over a period of time with different factors, alcohol possibly being one of them,” he said.
And the behavior caught in the viral video isn’t that uncommon, Lifrieri said.
“Football in itself is a collision sport so you have that type of mentality going into the game, so you can see that the crowds would be loyal to their teams and get as charged up as the players are,” he said.
A spokeswoman for MetLife Stadium did not respond to PIX11’s inquiries.
Sunday’s exchange is not the first blowup at the stadium. A YouTube video from September 2012 showcases a fight in Section 302 between Jets and Buffalo Bills fans.
Paschke, who was involved in Sunday’s brawl, did time for the stabbing death of a 17-year-old Long Island teen 20 years ago.
On Tuesday afternoon, his Long Island attorney issued a statement indicating that his client is fully cooperating with authorities and that he expects him to be vindicated.