-Fan seriously injured during assault at Nationals-Orioles game over a Yankees hat.
By the fifth or sixth inning of the matchup with the Washington Nationals, the couple had endured about an hour of heckling, mostly about Fortese's hat, from two men sitting a section above them, said Queen, 21. Then one of the men threw a beer that hit the couple, according to police, and when Fortese approached the men and began arguing with them, one punched him in the head.
The blow sent Fortese over a railing and onto the concrete about five feet below.
Strangely, the off-duty state trooper who rushed to Fortese's aid was Nathan Steelman, a childhood friend from Hagerstown who he hadn't seen in years until their brief discussion at Wednesday's game. It was a chance meeting at a random time and place, but Steelman's presence may have saved Fortese's life.
"You just heard it," Steelman, 26, said Friday of the commotion. "I rushed over, and I realized it was Matt. He wasn't breathing. He was unconscious. Blood was coming from his nose."
He said Fortese had gone as long as 45 seconds without breathing. Steelman, relying on basic emergency medical training he received as a soldier deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, stuck his finger in Fortese's mouth and removed a wad of chewing tobacco that had blocked his airway. Fortese drew a breath.