NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A weekend that should have ended with New York’s 37-10 win over the Kansas City Chiefs instead took a disturbing turn for Jets fan James Mohr.
Police said Mohr was hospitalized Sunday after a beating outside MetLife Stadium left him with a broken jaw, eye socket and cheekbone.
Mohr’s family said the 23-year-old physical education teacher was walking alone through Parking Lot J when up to seven fans, at least one in a Chiefs jersey, yelled anti-NY insults. “You all deserved what happened on 9/11!” barked one assailant, according to a report in the New York Post.
Mohr’s sister explained why he apparently took offense.
“Our other brother is a fireman, and my father is retired FDNY, so you can understand why a 9/11 comment would especially irk him,” Mohr’s sister, Anna, told the paper.
However, New Jersey State Police refuted the notion that it was more than a one-on-one altercation.
“This attack was committed by a single individual and not by a group,” Trooper Colin Frinzi told CBS 2′s Hazel Sanchez on Wednesday afternoon.
Police said Merle Lee, 35, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
State Police Sgt. Brian Polite said Mohr got into a skirmish in the parking that broke up on its own when Lee “came out of the blue and punched Mohr in the face.”
Lee was originally charged with simple assault, but Polite said the charges were upgraded after Mohr’s condition worsened. Mohr was taken to Hackensack Medical Center where he underwent four hours of reconstructive facial surgery. He was last listed in fair condition.
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In a statement, a representative from MetLife Stadium said the incident was ”an unacceptable attack on one of our guests and we have been working with the NJ State Police to make sure the man arrested is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
“We have reached out to James to wish him a speedy and full recovery,” a team spokesman said in a statement. “Our organization works hard to provide fans with a safe and secure environment and there is no place for this type of behavior. We are working with the stadium and New Jersey State Police to be certain that any and all perpetrators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Lee is free on bond.
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