Patriots fan who died after NFL stadium punch suffered from ‘medical issue’ not traumatic injury, say officials

A New England Patriots fan who died after he was punched at least twice in the head at a game over the weekend did not suffer a “traumatic injury,” but instead had a medical issue, the Norfolk County district attorney’s office announced in a statement.

Season ticket holder Dale Mooney, 53, of Newmarket, New Hampshire, was at the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night when the incident happened.

Police and medical personnel responded to the stands after Mooney appeared to suffer a medical event just before 11pm in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

“Our investigation has included numerous law enforcement interviews and the examination of multiple angles of video capturing the scuffle prior to Mr. Dale Mooney’s collapse during the Sunday night game at Gillette Stadium,” the district attorney’s office said.

“Preliminary autopsy results did not suggest traumatic injury, but did identify a medical issue,” according to the statement. “Cause and manner of death remain undetermined pending further testing.”

Joey Kilmartin told multiple media outlets that he saw Mooney confront a Miami Dolphins fan who he had been arguing with during most of the game.

“He basically engaged in mutual combat with another fan,” Kilmartin told The Boston Globe.

People tried to separate the two, he said, but "then a man in the Dolphins jersey reached over and he connected with two punches to the victim’s head. It wasn’t something crazy or out of the ordinary until, 30 seconds later, the guy wasn’t getting up.”

Mooney was rushed to Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro where he was pronounced dead.

His grieving wife told Boston 25 that he was a lifelong Patriots fan who was a loving father to the couple’s two adult sons.

“I just can’t even believe this is for real,” she told WCVB-TV. “I want to know what happened. What caused this?”

Gillette Stadium officials said they were “heartbroken” by the death of Mooney, who they described as a lifelong Patriots fan and 30-year season ticket member.

“We continue to work with local authorities to assist them with their ongoing investigation,” according to the statement. “We extend our sincerest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to Dale’s family and to all those who are mourning his loss.”