Two men charged in connection with the death of lifelong Patriots’ fan after altercation at Gillette Stadium

Two Rhode Island men have been charged in the death of 53-year-old Dale Mooney, a lifelong New England Patriots fan who died after an altercation at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, in September. 

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey released a statement Thursday announcing John Vieira, 59, and Justin Mitchell, 39, were charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct following Mooney’s death Sept. 17. 

A retro Patriots helmet during a game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins Sept. 17, 2023, at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.  (Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

At the time, several videos circulating online appeared to show Mooney involved in an altercation with Miami Dolphins fans. Police said Mooney was transported to Sturdy Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

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Days after Mooney’s death, the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office said a preliminary autopsy report “did not suggest traumatic injury but did identify a medical issue.” 

Dolphins play at Gillette

Tua Tagovailoa (1) of the Miami Dolphins throws during the third quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium Sept. 17, 2023, in Foxboro, Mass.  (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

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On Thursday, his death was ruled a homicide. 

“The OCME (Office of the Chief Medical Examiner) recently provided final determinations to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office. The cause of death has been ruled as ‘Probable cardiac dysrhythmia in a person with severe hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease during a physical altercation.’ The manner of death was ruled to be homicide.”

PATRIOTS’ FAN DEAD AFTER ALTERCATION AT GILLETTE STADIUM DID NOT SUSTAIN ‘TRAUMATIC INJURY,’ AUTOPSY FINDS

External view of Gillette Stadium

Gillette Stadium before a game between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots Dec. 28, 2020, in Foxborough, Mass.  (Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

The district attorney’s office also added that “the review of the available evidence, including the autopsy results and multiple angles of video capturing the incident, did not determine that the evidence established a basis for criminal prosecution of charges related to homicide in Mr. Mooney’s death.” 

The Foxborough Police Department said in October that three individuals could face assault and battery and disorderly conduct charges “in the coming weeks.” 

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Vieira and Mitchell are scheduled to be arraigned next month. 

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