A Pittsburgh Steelers fan was caught choking a pregnant San Diego Chargers fan during a Dec. 2 game between the two teams at Heinz Field in Pennsylvania.
Photographs showed a man wearing a black hoodie over a Steelers jersey putting a hand around the woman’s throat during one of a number of brawls that broke out at the stadium.
Photographer Shelley Lipton captured the moment and her photos were published by the Pittsburgh Current.
Daniel Minshew identified the woman who was choked as his wife and said she’s 26 weeks pregnant. He added that they were victims of verbal and physical abuse throughout the game and security failed to address the situation.
The pair traveled to the stadium for the away game.
Minshew told the Current on Dec. 4 that they plan on filing criminal charges.
“Not only was there an assault, but my wife is also 26-and-a-half weeks pregnant and I legitimately feared for both our safety,” Minshew said. “After the assault … no security or presence of law enforcement was visible in the actual section and the only way we felt [we could] safely exit the stadium was with a large group of Charger fans.”
“This was one of the worst experiences I have ever encountered and I am astonished that this was captured with visual evidence and a third-party [corroborating} statement, yet no security member would take my statement, let alone attend to my pregnant wife and me after the incident to see if we were OK,” he added.
Updated: Man and pregnant wife assaulted at Steelers game seeking criminal charges https://t.co/3zjUfg34eq
— Harry (@harrytpk) December 5, 2018
Video footage showed the brawl between the Steelers fan and the Minshews but the woman who recorded the footage blamed Minshew for the fight, claiming he kept standing up throughout the game and blocking the view of fans behind him.
“He was a tall guy so people sitting two, three, four rows behind him couldn’t see,” the Steelers fan told KDKA. She said the man was asked multiple times to stay seated. When the game ended with a Steelers loss, the brawl started.
“All hell broke loose, they started pushing and swearing at each other,” she said.
“It didn’t look to me like she was getting choked,” the woman claimed, despite the photographic evidence. “I watched the entire thing unfold and I didn’t see anything that remotely looked like choking.”
The footage shows Minshew, wearing a custom Chargers jacket, being accosted by several Steelers fans before his wife grabs one of the men and the fan then grabs her by the throat. Then, the Steelers fans hold Minshew over a railing before letting go.
The Pittsburgh Police Department said that it is aware of the brawl and is investigating. The Steelers add, “We will ensure those involved as the aggressors will not be permitted back into our stadium.”
Other brawls broke out during the game, including one between two Steelers fans who apparently got upset during an argument over whether coach Mike Tomlin should be fired.
Video footage captured by another fan showed the pair exchanging blows while other fans tried to separate them.