A 26-year old Carolina Panthers fan has been accused of assaulting an older man sitting behind him at an October 12 game, police say.
The incident was captured on video by a fan sitting nearby at the game against the Philadelphia Eagles, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said Friday they were searching for the Cam Newton-jersey clad Kyle Adam Maraghy as the suspect in the assault. A few hours later, police announced Maraghy was arrested and charged in connection with the incident. He was booked at 5:20 p.m. local time Friday and released on $1,500 bond later in the evening.
Maraghy, who has a Thor-style hammer with the Panthers phrase “Keep Pounding” tattooed on his left arm, has since deactivated his social media accounts.
Maraghy’s been charged with assault and battery in the past, and recently attended an area community college.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Shocking Video Shows Maraghy Brutally Punching the Older Man Behind Him
According to the fan who captured the incident at Bank of America Stadium, Kyle Maraghy and a woman appearing to be his girlfriend were standing for much of the game in the upper section of the stadium. The people sitting behind the couple exchanged words with the couple throughout the game, asking them to take a seat numerous times.
“There previously was a single mom and her son between us, they left halfway through the third,” Facebook user Warren Carrigan wrote on Facebook.
Carrigan alleges that the 62-year-old victim in the assault referred to the couple as “jerks” for not being courteous to the people around them in the section. Carrigan wrote that at one point, Maraghy turned around and called the victim a number of derogatory names before committing the violent act. The victim, who can be seen wearing a white T-shirt, is said to be a Panthers season ticket holder and brought a friend who’s an Eagles fan with him to the game.
“Then (he) sucker punches him right in the face,” Carrigan writes. “I don’t know if he got away or left in handcuffs, but I hope it’s the latter.”
Maraghy and his girlfriend got away after the assault, hopping over multiple rows before exiting the stadium. But Maraghy was later identified by the Panthers and taken into custody by authorities.
The victim suffered bruises and scratches from the punches and was treated at the scene, USA Today reported.
2. The Panthers & Police Identified Maraghy as the Suspect Hours Later
Following the stunning footage posted to social media, police issued a warrant for Maraghy’s arrest. The police department tweeted that it had been looking into information regarding the incident and was “working to apprehend (the) suspect.”
Earlier Friday, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said that the league was in contact with the Panthers as they looked for the suspect.
“We are aware of it and are in contact with club security,” Lockhart said to reporters. “We have robust security plans in place at all of our games … we take all of these very seriously.”
The Panthers also released a statement, confirming they identified the “perpetrator” and promised to file charges against him for the assault.
“We have reviewed video tape of the incident and have identified the perpetrator,” a statement from the organization to to ESPN said. “We are working with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department to pursue charges to the fullest extent of the law. The Carolina Panthers are committed to a fan-friendly and family-friendly stadium experience. The behavior exhibited by the perpetrator is unacceptable and will not be condoned at Bank of America Stadium.”
3. Maraghy Has Been Charged With Assault & Battery in the Past
According to the North Carolina circuit court database, Maraghy has had numerous infractions and criminal citations issued him in previous years dating back to 2011.
In December 2013, Maraghy was charged with assault and battery, though additional details on that incident weren’t readily available. He’s been arrested for assault at least one more time since 2013 and has claimed to be the victim in two other incidents. He was also charged with reckless driving in 2015.
Back in 2011, when he was 20-years old, Maraghy was cited for being in possession of LSD, and he also has a number of traffic citations including speeding, deviating from a traffic lane and having an expired vehicle registration.
Assault and battery is typically charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor in North Carolina. Those charges are made when the victim of the assault sustains minor injuries. The offense is punishable by probation and a sentence from one to 30 days in jail. But it the defendant has a prior record, the sentence can be as long as 60 days and the judge can impose a fine of up to $1,000.
4. Maraghy Made the Dean’s List at a Community College
Maraghy studied at Mitchell Community College, a two-year school which has its main campus in downtown Statesville. There are other facilities located throughout the town.
It’s unknown what subject Maraghy studied at the school or if he graduated, but he made the dean’s list in May 2017 as a full-time student, according to the school’s website. He also appeared on the school’s 2015 and 2016 dean’s lists.
5. Maraghy Graduated From Lake Norman High School in 2009
According to a 2009 issue of the Mooresville Tribune, Maraghy graduated from Lake Norman High School in 2009. He subsequently took a few years off from school before enrolling at Mitchell Community Collage.
Lake Norman High School is located in Mooresville — Maraghy’s hometown — and is part of the Iredell-Statesville school system. It was built in 2002 and had a 2014 enrollment of 1,800 students as of 2014. In 2009, the year Maraghy graduated, the high school had the highest graduation rate of North Carolina public non-charter schools.