BALTIMORE (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Maryland man is in on life support after police said he suffered a head injury during a fight with two Oakland Raiders fans from Westchester County during a Baltimore Ravens game.
Baltimore police said 30-year-old Scott Smith, a Mount Vernon firefighter, and a friend, 31-year-old Andrew Nappi of Eastchester, were visiting the Ravens stadium Sunday when they got into a fight with Joseph Bauer, a 56-year-old former Marine.
Nappi told police Bauer hit Smith in the head with a bottle and a fight ensued, according to an incident report. Ultimately, Bauer fell to the ground and hit his head.
“Two individuals had become involved in a verbal altercation with our victim,” said Baltimore Police Lt. Jarron Jackson. “That verbal altercation became physical. And at some point, the victim was pushed on the ground where he struck his head.”
Bauer’s sister said her brother is a season ticket holder and was at the game Sunday with his wife and friends at the M&T Bank Stadium. Susan Bauer told The Baltimore Sun that her brother is on life support and doctors have told the family he had a 30 percent chance of survival.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh called the incident “absolutely inexcusable.”
“I want to extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Joe Bauer and his family for what happened at the game Sunday,” he said. “Here’s a man with a family that have been longtime season ticket-holders, that know the people here that work in the building, that love the Ravens, that have been to countless numbers of games at M&T Bank Stadium without incident.”
Both Smith and Nappi were charged with first-degree assault, and released on $25,000 bond. Smith and Nappi are due back in court in Baltimore on Oct. 27. Neither would answer CBS2’s knock at the door, CBS2’s Magdalena Doris reported.
Nappi’s neighbors were shocked at what happened.
“He’s friendly, great neighbor,” Bruce Buschini said. “Quiet, him and his wife.”
While Baltimore police work out the details of what happened during the incident, Smith is on unpaid suspension from the fire department.
Chief Al Everett said Smith, a first-year firefighter on the Mount Vernon force, was a standout student and the trouble that he’s facing comes as a shock to the department.
“Absolutely no trouble from this young man,” Everett said. “All I can say is we’re surprised, saddened and we hope that the person who was injured comes out well.”
CBS2’s Lou Young reports Smith may lose his job as a firefighter.
“He’ll be suspended without pay and that’s how we’re going to do it,” Everett explained. “Our prayers are with the injured party. We’re concerned about Scott, but will just have to wait and see what the process reveals.”
Mount Vernon residents say whatever started the fight should have been diffused.
“One thing is for sure we shouldn’t use violence in such a case whether you’re a firefighter or not a firefighter,” resident Winfried Schmitz said.
Police have not said if alcohol was a factor.
“Normally what we see is just a healthy rivalry,” said Jackson. “I don’t know what the cause of the argument was, whether it was the game or something else, but either way, totally unnecessary and uncalled for.”
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)