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Two R.I. men charged for Gillette Stadium fight that ended with N.H. man’s death

Dale Mooney died after being involved in a fight at the Patriots-Dolphins game on Sept. 17. A police report reveals new details of how the altercation unfolded.

Dale Mooney. GoFundMe

Two Rhode Island men are facing charges related to the fight at Gillette Stadium in September that involved a New Hampshire man who fell unconscious and later died

John Vieira, 59, and Justin Mitchell, 39, both of Warwick, R.I., face charges of assault and battery and disorderly conduct. The charges were issued earlier this month, and both men are scheduled to be arraigned in January, according to court records. Foxborough Police said in October that they were seeking criminal complaints against three men in connection with the incident. 

Vieira and Mitchell allegedly punched Dale Mooney, of Newmarket, N.H. while at Gillette for the Patriots-Dolphins game on Sept. 17. Autopsy results “did not suggest traumatic injury,” but officials did “identify a medical issue” related to his death. Mooney collapsed during an altercation in the stadium and was later pronounced dead at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro. 


The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner recently ruled that Mooney’s cause of death was “probable cardiac dysrhythmia in a person with severe hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease during a physical altercation.” The manner of death was ruled to be homicide, according to Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office.

But a review of evidence, which included autopsy results and multiple angles of video capturing the incident, did not determine that there was a basis for criminal prosecution of charges related to homicide in Mooney’s death, according to Morrissey’s office.

“We thank the members of the public who made their private videos of the altercation available for our review, and the investigators at the Foxborough Police Department, for their help in establishing a clear picture of these tragic events,” Morrissey said in a statement.

As part of the investigation, Foxborough Police obtained security footage of the incident. At about 10:45 p.m., it showed Vieira, Mitchell, and three other men seated in the same row in section 310. Mooney is seated one row behind them. The footage captured what appeared to be a verbal argument among Mooney, Mitchell, and one of the other men.

At one point, Vieira could be seen standing up and stepping over the man seated next to him towards Mitchell and Mooney. Vieira started to argue with them as well, according to a police report. 


Mitchell, Mooney, and two of the other men could be seen standing up. Some of the men appeared to make efforts to “quell the argument,” with one physically pulling Vieira away from Mooney and putting his body between them. They all sat down, but the argument apparently continued, according to the report. 

Mooney stood up and walked out of the row to the stairs. Mitchell immediately stood up and stepped down to the row of seats below him. Mooney, walking down the stairs, motioned to Mitchell using his head and hand “as if to say ‘let’s go’ or ‘come on,’” according to the report. Witnesses told police that they believed Mooney wanted to fight Mitchell and was trying to coax him into a physical altercation. 

Mooney continued down to a landing at the bottom of the seating area, and turned back up to face Mitchell. Vieira and two other men could be seen arguing with Mitchell. One of them grabbed Mitchell and attempted to pull him back to his seat. Stadium security then responded. They spoke with Mitchell, Vieira, and two of their companions. While Gillette security spoke to the group, Mooney again motioned in Mitchell’s direction, Foxborough Police Detective Mark Bohnenberger wrote in the report. Mooney also spoke with security, and the situation appeared to wind down. 


Mitchell and one of the men seated with him, George Chiarillo, continued to argue with each other and two other attendees a few rows below them. Chiarillo could be seen stepping over one row of seats and hitting one of them in the head, knocking them to the ground. Stadium security responded, running up the stairs to the commotion, according to the report. 

Chiarillo was later charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct and pleaded not guilty at an arraignment in Wrentham District Court on Nov. 30. He was released on personal recognizance, according to court records.

Mooney ran up the stairs behind the security guards, pointing to Mitchell and Chiarillo. Mooney then pushed past security guards into the row where Mitchell and Chiarillo were. Mooney initiated a physical altercation with Mitchell, “grabbing him in the upper shoulder/neck area,” Bohnenberger wrote. Mooney and Mitchell began to “tussle” with a third man wedged in between them. Chiarillo appeared to try to separate the men, but lost his balance and toppled down to rows below the altercation, according to the report. 

As stadium security tried to intervene, Vieira got involved and appeared to try to break up the fight. Vieira could then be seen punching Mooney one time in the area of his head. Mooney was punched in the “face/head area” one or two more times before throwing Mitchell across his body from left to right and over the seats below, according to the report. 


As this happened, Mooney appeared to keep a hold of Mitchell. Mooney then lost consciousness and the altercation ended. Gillette security separated the two men, and Mooney could be seen partially seated, “slumped back on top of the seats.” The entire fight lasted about 25 seconds, according to the report. 

In addition to reviewing the security footage, Foxborough Police interviewed multiple witnesses and reviewed 12 videos taken by attendees. They found that Mooney attacked Mitchell, and Vieira punched Mooney near his head with a “glancing blow.” Mitchell punched Mooney near his head and face two times.