BOSTON - All too often it happens. A sporting event meant to provide good clean fun, takes a dark turn in the stands.
Last Sunday at Gillette, Patriots fan Dale Mooney lost his life after a fight with a Dolphins fan. So far, hishe died of a medical issue, not from a traumatic injury in the fight. But shows a brutal exchange.
The WBZ I-Team dug into arrest data at the Hub's biggest sports venues.
At Gillette Stadium last year there were 15 arrests. At Fenway Park there were eight, and at the TD Garden there were 20 arrests. All three combined amount to a more than 60% jump from 2021 to 2022.
That does not include the times police never even got involved, or when fights didn't result in arrests. In most cases, a venue's own security personnel handles incidents.
"Is it possible that people are going to games to relieve stress, and maybe their emotional bandwidth is lower, so then they're at this game and something happens, and they're more likely to respond on impulse," said Massachusetts General Hospital psychologist Dr. Alexandra Gold.
She said alcohol magnifies those reactions. She tells patients that something as simple as breathing can make a profound difference. "Just in your chair. This really re-regulates people's emotions because it activates what we call the parasympathetic nervous system that calms us down," Gold said.
In the case of Dale Mooney, the Norfolk County District Attorney's office is still investigating. No one is facing criminal charges.
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