25-year-old Yankee fan Matt Fortese was attending the Nationals/Orioles game on May 29 at Camden Yards with a girl named Taylor and the two were on their second date. Fortese, who was wearing a Yankee hat, was heckled most of the game by a couple of rowdy fans who took things too far. Not only were they heckling him, according to witnesses, they actually spat on him as well. Things escalated even after Fortese, calmly tried to defuse the situation and the result of the escalation was one of those rowdy fans landing a punch that sent Fortese falling a few feet over a railing, cracking his skull and rendering him unconscious. Thanks to the help of an off-duty trooper, Nathan Steelman, Fortese got urgent care that he needed on the scene - Steelman unblocked an airway to keep Fortese breathing - and the authorities were also able to detain the two men responsible for the beating. Witnesses say those suspects were still yelling and spitting at Fortese even after he was lying unconscious on the ground.
Fortese, who had to undergo emergency brain surgery on May 31 due to complications from the injuries sustained in the attack, has a long, difficult road to recovery ahead of him. After two weeks in critical condition, they were able to move Fortese to a facility where he will have to learn to speak again.
According to Fortese's family, who spoke out for the first time since the incident, Matt was scheduled to start a new job with full benefits on June 3 - just a few days after the attack - but now, his family is in a pinch with these unexpected, and no doubt, expensive medical bills.
This is where you come in. There are a couple of ways to help out.
Jimmy John's, in Fortese's hometown of Hagerstown, Maryland, is holding a fundraiser on June 26 to help the family with the cost of Matt's medical bills and his friends have also set up a website in his honor, where you can donate if you can't make it to the fundraiser down in Maryland.
After the brutal attack on Bryan Stow two years ago in the parking at Dodger Stadium, people hoped something like that wouldn't happen again. They were wrong.