Broncos fan beaten unconscious before Monday Night game in San Diego
This Denver Broncos fan, who has identified himself only as Eric, suffered a fractured skull from an attack that left him unconscious outside Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego before a Monday Night Football game between the Broncos and San Diego Chargers on Oct. 15, 2012. (Photo: FOX5 San Diego)
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A Denver Broncos fan is the latest to fall victim to a violent attack at a professional sports stadium in California, a state that is becoming infamous for such incidents.
The 22-year-old, who only identified himself as Eric to FOX5 in San Diego, said he was on his way into Qualcomm Stadium for the Broncos’ Monday night road game with the San Diego Chargers when he had beer purposefully poured on his cherished John Elway throwback jersey.
The next thing he remembers was waking up in a hospital the next day with a fractured skull and internal bleeding.
“I was bleeding from the head and it had entered my brain,” Eric told the TV station. “Now my body is in pain, I’m taking medication every day, I can barely hear out of my right ear and I’ve lost my sense of smell.”
Eric said his only apparent crime was wearing his Broncos jersey and telling a group of Broncos fans not to worry about the Chargers as he walked into the stadium.
“I told them, ‘No worries, we’re going to take first place tonight,’” Eric said, referencing the fact that a win would — and did — vault the Broncos into first place in the AFC West Division.
The Chula Vista native said he wasn’t surprised that the comment led to some harassment by Chargers fans. He was even relieved when a man and his girlfriend apologized for their friend — the one who had poured the beer on Eric’s Elway jersey.
The surprise came when Eric realized someone had deemed his comment and jersey worthy of an attack that put him in the hospital for two days.
Doctors said it was apparent that someone had struck Eric in the back of the head, which is what knocked him unconscious. His head hitting the pavement is what fractured his skull. Eric wouldn’t know.
“One of my friends said he heard a commotion,” Eric said. “When he turned around, he saw me on the floor.”
Police said they have no suspects as of Thursday morning and are asking for tips. This isn’t the first time California law enforcement has been forced to investigate such a case.
Bryan Stow suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled due to an attack after a baseball game at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles a year ago. The San Francisco 49ers discontinued their long-running rivalry with the Oakland Raiders after one man was shot in the parking lot outside of Candlestick Park and another man was beaten unconscious in a bathroom.
Somewhat surprisingly, Eric said he won’t let this incident deter him from returning to Qualcomm Stadium. His problem is only with the person who attacked him.
“This is one person,” Eric said. “One person who was cowardly enough to hit someone from behind, watch him fall on his head and fracture his skull and then walk away like it was nothing.”