NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Four people have been arrested and charged in connection with a melee outside MetLife Stadium after the Jets game this past weekend – including the man who was seen on video throwing a punch and the woman on the receiving end.
Kurt Paschke, 38, of Holbrook, Long Island, was arrested along with two women – Amanda MacDowell, 25, of Marlborough, Mass., and Jaclyn Nugent, 26, of Boston – and a second man – David James Sacco, 28, of Boston, New Jersey State Police said.
State police said an investigation has concluded that MacDowell and Nugent were seen kicking and punching Paschke in the body and head. Shortly afterward, Paschke was seen striking Nugent – the woman seen wearing a Patriots shirt in the video — with a punch to the face.
Sacco was then seen hitting Paschke in the face, state police said.
All four defendants were charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct, and are due to appear in East Rutherford Municipal Court in early November.
The brawl happened during or after the Jets’ 30-27 overtime victory Sunday. In the video, Paschke is wearing a No. 80 Jets jersey as he punches the woman now identified as Nugent.
Paschke’s father defended his son Tuesday.
“My son wouldn’t just go out and just punch a girl. He’s not an animal,” the 38-year-old’s father, Kurt Paschke, Sr., told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “He was being attacked, and he was defending himself.”
Paschke Sr. said his son has been having a hard time, CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
“He is very, very upset about all of this,” he said. “He has been portrayed as some kind of crazy animal, ticking time bomb — whatever, all sort of crazy things. That’s not him, and he wasn’t the aggressor.”
The elder Paschke said the Patriots fans were the aggressors and said the video only caught the very end of what had been building up throughout the entire game.
“This is something that was three hours long. This started in the stands at the beginning of the game,” Paschke’s father told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “I’m tired of hearing about ‘you never hit a girl in the face’ or ‘you never punch a girl.’ If three girls are attacking you (and) someone can come up with a reasonable recourse that he had, I’ll be glad to listen to it.”
See the video:
Paschke’s mother Colleen, who witnessed the fight, said the Patriots fans were heckling their group from kickoff, and after the game, tensions exploded. She insists her son was trying to break up the fight.
“He went over to pull them off, the guy and girl, and that’s when they grabbed my son and started punching him,” she said. “One guy was holding him while the other guy punched him.”
Paschke’s father said the Patriots fans were upset that they lost and “were going to take it out on somebody.”
“He never intended to hurt anybody. He was just trying to protect himself,” he said. “He gets attacked by a group of Patriots fans because they lost a football game? How ridiculous is this? It’s a football game.”
CBS 2 profiled the Paschke family in 2011 in a story on die-hard Jets fans. Colleen Paschke said her son is devastated that his love for the Jets has put him in the wrong kind of spotlight.
“He’s very upset about this,” she said. “He really is a true fan and he was just trying to move on and keep things going. He was not looking to start a fight.”
Paschke’s attorney, Burce Barket, told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider that he was disappointed police charged his client in the case.
“It’s fairly clear from the video and witness interviews that Kurt was attacked by a number of people,” Barket said.
The Jets, however, don’t buy the self-defense claim.
“We have zero tolerance for this behavior,” the team said in a statement. “Those involved have been banned from attending any events at the stadium.”
To be allowed back into MetLife Stadium, those involved in the fight will have to complete an online conduct course, submit a written apology and request permission to attend events there. Even then, they have to let the legal process play out before they can be cleared to return to the venue.
Retired NYPD Detective Jay Saltpeter reviewed the video. He said police officers are taught to retreat if they can, but in this case, it appeared Paschke could not.
“Members of this young lady’s family or party were also holding Mr. Paschke,” Saltpeter said. “He didn’t have the opportunity to retreat.”
The 38-year-old Paschke has a criminal history. In 2011, he was caught serving alcohol to minors while bartending. In the 1990s, he served two and a half years in prison for fatally stabbing a teenager.
His family says he was wrongly convicted and that they’ve put the past behind them.
Colleen Paschke hopes telling their side of the story will also help put Sunday’s incident in the past as well.
“I’m just hoping that this will die down, that my son will stop being portrayed as the vicious person who hit a girl,” she said.
Law enforcement officers who spoke to CBS 2 said liquor and loss in a sports game can promote hostility.
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