Red Sox fan arrested for sucker punch at Rays game

12:28 PM, May 9, 2009   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- One man has been arrested following a fight during a Rays/Red Sox game last week. 

The St. Petersburg Police Department says it happened near the end of the ball game at Tropicana Field on Saturday, May 2. John Thaddeus Ritter -- a Rays fan -- apparently exchanged words with a man later identified as Joseph Michael Norton -- a Boston Red Sox fan -- as they both were leaving the stadium and walking down the outside ramp at Gate Six.

Witnesses say Norton ran up behind Ritter and "sucker punched" him in the back of the head, causing him to fall forward on the sloping, concrete ramp. Norton struck his head on the pavement and suffered a concussion and serious head injuries. He has since been released from the hospital.

St. Pete Police were able to positively identify Norton after an investigation, and obtained a warrant for his arrest. Detectives requested the assistance of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in locating Norton, because he lives in their county.

HCSO deputies arrested Norton Friday morning at his residence and booked him into jail.

Investigators attempted to interview Norton about this case, but he declined to make a statement.

Bill Proffitt, Saint Petersburg Police Department and 10 Connects News

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