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Two charged after alleged assault at Orioles game sends man to intensive care

Jun 1, 2013, 5:45 PM EDT

Camden Yards

Disturbing story out of Baltimore.

According to Yvonne Wegner and Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun, two men have been charged after an alleged assault at Camden Yards during Wednesday’s Nationals/Orioles game sent one man to intensive care with severe head trauma and a skull fracture.

The alleged attack occurred after 25-year-old Matt Fortese was being taunted by two fans for wearing his Yankees hat to the game. It eventually led to a confrontation.

By the fifth or sixth inning of the matchup with the Washington Nationals, the couple had endured about an hour of heckling, mostly about Fortese’s hat, from two men sitting a section above them, said Queen, 21. Then one of the men threw a beer that hit the couple, according to police, and when Fortese approached the men and began arguing with them, one punched him in the head.

The blow sent Fortese over a railing and onto the concrete about five feet below.

Two men — Gregory Fleischman, 22, of Jarrettsville, and Michael Bell, 21, of Annapolis — were charged in the attack.

Police said Fleischman punched Fortese.

All of this over a hat. As fate would have it, Fortese was revived by Nathan Steelman, a childhood friend who just so happened to be attending the same game. He’s currently listed in serious condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Fortese’s father said that he has been in and out of consciousness and will likely need long-term physical therapy.

Fleischman was charged with first- and second-degree assault and disorderly conduct while Bell was charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. Both were released on $50,000 bond yesterday.

  1. goskinsvt - Jun 1, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Terrible. It’s a game, people. No matter how much passion you might have, it’s only a game.

  2. Kevin Gillman - Jun 1, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Just an awful situation, I hope the kid turns out to be fine. But sometimes drinking so much beer doesn’t do any good at all. I hope those idiots are found guilty.

  3. brewcrewfan54 - Jun 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM

    So you taunt a guy for several innings and throw abeer at him and then when confronts you you punch him? Throw the book at these 2 morons.

  4. newpairofsox - Jun 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Three lives ruined over a hat. A HAT.

  5. cocheese000 - Jun 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Alcohol and youth does not mix well

    • bigharold - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:42 PM

      It’s not just youth. Drinking tends to intensify someones personality. If that person happens to be an imbecile that’s the issue. I’ve seen full grown mature men act like complete asshats at a game because they had a few too many and somebody was wearing gear from the opposing team.

      It’s not a baseball issue it a problem for all sports. It’s the kind of think that requires an comprehensive aggressive response. Or, a team can wait to see how much their image suffers when somebody is killed in their stadium/arena because he was wearing the wrong jersey.

      • thebadguyswon - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:07 PM

        Not much good comes from drinking. Especially drinking to excess.

  6. approvenothing - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    I hope these two are stuck in prison for the majority of their young lives. Then come out to find that they have nothing waiting for them. Complete disgrace for Baltimore and America alike.

  7. shanabartels - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    What an unfortunate incident — that’s one second date I’m sure this couple will always remember, and not in a good way. If this young lady wasn’t scared away by the fact that Mr. Fortese choked on his chewing tobacco (if you read the article, that’s why his airway was blocked after he hit his head — I can’t believe anyone would dip on a date in the first place) and the reality that he’s going to need intensive physical therapy for quite some time and she’s going to have to make some appearances testifying in court because she witnessed the assault, well, they’re going to have one hell of a strong relationship. Here’s hoping he has a full and speedy recovery and maybe gets a mulligan on that date.

    • indaburg - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:59 PM

      Oh shana, I hope you’re joking. The problem is head trauma, which was caused by assault–a punch to his head and the fall. His airway was only blocked for 45 seconds, which isn’t sufficient to cause brain damage. Even if his issue was his airway being blocked, the blockage was caused by some piece of shit assaulting him while he happened to have chew in his mouth. I do hope he gets a mulligan on that date too.

      • sandrafluke2012 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        Well, there are two problems with people doing tobacco. Anyone doing it on a date is a f00l. Secondly, I don’t want to pay for your nationalized healthcare

      • indaburg - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:17 PM

        There are several problems with your comment. The primary is that it doesn’t make sense.

        I personally don’t like chew, but it’s not my place to judge two people on a date enjoying themselves.

  8. gotampabay52 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Just ban Yankee & Redsox hats from all public places and this shit wouldnt happen

    • recoveringcubsfan - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:16 PM

      I kind of like this sentiment. But of course, that said… yikes.

      Could we just ban the Yanks and Sawx from national TV instead?

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:29 PM

      Seriously? Did you not hear about Bryan Stow? Or are you just being an asshole homer?

      • indaburg - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:39 PM

        He’s an embarrassment to the Tampa Bay area. Just ignore him.

    • drone501 - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:33 AM

      hell i have a yankee hat i wear and i live in pittsburgh and am a pirates fan. the hat a gift. if this is what it comes to law abiding people will have to protect themselves somehow.

  9. steelers88 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Those 2 men are stupid idiots! They really need to get a life! Its just a stupid game. Who CARES if the guy is wearing a Yankees hat it’s AMERICA he wasn’t bothering anyone he was just trying to enjoy a baseball game he didn’t deserve that kind of treatment. My prayers go out to him and his family and I pray for his speedy recovery.

  10. jb8588 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    Actually at the O’s game now. As a non O’s fan, this story sickens me. If this victims family was smart, they would file a large lawsuit against the team. In my opinion, the ushers nearby had an hour plus to prevent this incident from escalating to this level. If the ushers had been doing their job, then this incident would of never happened. The fault lies on them…no doubt about it.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      This is the problem with litigious societies- they forego laying blame where it should go and put it on the most lucrative suitor instead. The fault lies solely with the two morons that harassed this couple all night and then assaulted them. The dude probably should have contacted security instead of challegning two guys by himself though.

      • recoveringcubsfan - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:22 PM

        The staff at the park does deserve some (not most, but some) of the blame, though. It’s an entertainment venue, is the ballpark, and the staff is there to ensure people follow the rules and have a good experience. This is not a mob activity.

        I have seen the ushers handle things like this very quickly and effectively at Wrigley, Nats Park, Comiskey (old and new), Busch – most parks, really. If this was a total exception for Camden, then the team has to make sure it never happens again. It’s kind of what the ushers are there for. They ain’t just there to tell you where the numbered, lettered seats are!

      • bigharold - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:58 PM

        “The fault lies solely with the two morons that harassed this couple all night and then assaulted them.”

        Not so. If this incident went on for over an hour the stadium bears some responsibility, .. in general. If these clowns were buying bear and getting loaded from the concessions then the stadium bears even more responsibility. See what happens if, for instance, you let your brother in law get tanked at your 4th of July BBQ and then he goes out a runs somebody over. You better have a good home owners policy.

        I would say that these two perpetrators deserve ALL the criminal responsibility but the civil responsibility does and should be shared by the venue. It’s their environment thus it’s their responsibility to control and monitor as best they can within reason.

  11. mfrizzle - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:37 PM

    This happened about 5 rows behind me. Both sets of fans were going at it all night. Too bad this happened when the O’s were rallying. It put a damper on an otherwise incredible game. Oh, and if by confront the two guys who threw the beer you mean try to climb over a railing and go after them, yes, that’s what happened. That’s why ushers and police are there. Report it and let them handle it.

    • sandrafluke2012 - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      Can we get an in-depth account?

  12. Roger Moore - Jun 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    Who do these idiots think they are, Dodgers fans?

  13. Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - Jun 1, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    I hate this team rivalry bullshit. If you spend a whole baseball game heckling someone else trying to enjoy a game, you are a shitty fan, and an asshole. If you want to prove what a tough guy you are, go drag your knuckles to a football game. Fucking neanderthals.

  14. randygnyc - Jun 1, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    Two douchebags who deserve to have their lives ruined. The team is also culpable. Their must be an expectation of safety in exchange for the cost of entry. The fact that this event continued for an hour means their is a quantifiable amount of negligence the club bears.

    This type of scumbag behavior is becoming more and more prevalent as I get older. In the 70’s these sort of things rarely occurred. Sure there were aberrations to the norm. I’m sure that even in my hometown Yankee stadium there was some violence. But this is triggered by ….fandom? Who is wearing what colors? Wtf?!?! In 2009 I took my then 8 year old daughter to the home world series games. There were handfuls of drunk phillies fans looking to fight with anyone/everyone, including myself and daughter. Of course I had no problem reporting this immediately to security. This type of behavior disgusts me. It should disgust everyone who hears about it.

  15. gonderfan - Jun 1, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    This is pretty terrible. It makes one wonder if maybe Elaine Benes was actually thrown out of Yankee Stadium (in her Orioles cap) for her own protection.

    I grew up going to Wrigley Field in my Mets cap, and never got worse than light-hearted taunting from the Cubs fans. (Though that was before there were any Cubs fans — pre-Durocher).

  16. yanks33 - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    What a bunch of punk a** kids…just sickening

  17. multiplemiggs - Jun 1, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Nice job by the two Orioles fans. Yankees fans have been giving people lifelong injuries outside of Yankee Stadium and other places for years. It’s about time people are taking a stand. The punk is the hot-shot who wears a Yankee hat to a game they aren’t even playing to try and impress his girlfriend. And don’t try telling me the kid was being quiet minding his own business either. He should have been ejected before this mess ever happened. If this was Yankee Stadium these two fans would be applauded. The guy got what he deserved. Now we all get to watch him throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium next season from his wheelchair and he will be toted as some “hero”. In the meantime I will be starting a fund to help the two Orioles fans pay their lawyer fees.

    • jjschiller - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:21 AM

      Are you ACTUALLY 14 years old, or do you just have the intellectual capacity of a 14 year old?

      • tc4306 - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        No need to insult the 14yr olds.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 2, 2013 at 8:52 PM


    • stex52 - Jun 3, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Don’t feed the troll. Eventually his 8th grade teacher will catch him and he will be in detention. For now, just ignore him.

  18. multiplemiggs - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:00 AM

    He drew attention to himself on purpose by wearing that hat, he knew what he was doing. And now he will be glorified by the Yankees who sign cheaters like Jeffery Maier and Danny Almonte to minor league contracts. I wouldn’t be suprised to see this piece of shit become a minor league coach for them in the next few years. Way to go Yanks! Just like your fans, you’re all class! Way to teach the kids!

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      I hate the yankees more than any team ever… but your comments are the dumbest things I’ve ever read in my entire life

  19. yankeepunk3000 - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    miggs you are one sick person…a person has the right to wear any hat they so choose…it should not lead to his death or near death…people like you make me sick. Immature, ignorant, moronic human beings who make all of us look bad. Go into a hole somewhere and stay there.

  20. theskinsman - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:55 AM

    Sickening behavior .A curse on ‘fans’ who have such pathetic lives they think fighting with opposing teams fans is OK. I wish a speedy recovery for the injured, and a humiliating, painful, miserable existence for the fools who did this and those who support them.

  21. jm91rs - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Here’s hoping he makes a full recovery, but I see two lessons here. 1) our insider just posted that it wasn’t as one sided as the article says and that the punch came after the guy was trying to jump a railing to get at the 2.. Don’t always believe the first story printed, as facts come out we may see this guy wasn’t as innocent as previously thought. And 2) go get stadium security and let them handle this stuff. It’s ridiculously foolish to try and be macho by taking care of this yourself. You have no idea if the fools have weapons or are trained fighters, cool the ego and let the authorities handle it.

    I am in no way saying this man deserves to be in intensive care. I hope for his speedy recovery and I hope after the assailants’ jail time is up they are also banned from MLB events. But in the future, get stadium personnel to take care of loser hecklers.

    • forsch31 - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      I would suggest you take your own advice. Basically, we have the family of the injured man going on record saying he simply approached the assailants, and an anonymous poster saying he climbed over a railing to “go after them.”

      Plus we don’t know where security was in this, especially if the issue had been going on for a while. It could be that somebody *did* go get security, but nothing was done. Sadly, I’ve seen that exact thing happen way too often at several games around the league over the years, as well as other sports.

      And if somebody throws a beer bottle at me, and security is doing nothing…no, I’m not going to sit there and continue to take it.

  22. schumacherbill - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Class Os Fans Class

    • fukpittsburgh - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      you’re a bag

  23. multiplemiggs - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:20 AM

    Yes I am a bag. I was made in a bag factory. Say all you want people, in the end, deep down you know if this was the other way around this wouldn’t even be news. Do you know how many away fans have been viciously attacked walking to the subway with their families at Yankee Stadium in the past 40 years? Shut your mouths if you have no idea what you are talking about. This is God’s way of punishing just one for the many who have been assaulted in the Bronx. This is what you get for hurting fellow children of God.

  24. multiplemiggs - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    I’m the immature moron meanwhile you’re all calling him a law abiding citizen. Were you there? Did you see what happened? According to multiple witnesses (not just in this forum) the Yankee cap wearing troublemaker jumped a railing to viciously attack the O’s fans. The O’s fan defended himself. If anything the charge will be lowered to simple battery, he will get a year or two probation, and the other O’s fan will walk. Remember this conversation a year from now when I’m right 😉

  25. multiplemiggs - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

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