Manslaughter Charge for Buffett Tailgate Beating Suspect

Victim, 20, dies days after being knocked out while tailgating outside concert

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The incident happened before Jimmy Buffett's concert in Camden.

    A Gloucester County man will be formally charged with the beating death of another man outside the Jimmy Buffett concert in Camden, New Jersey last month.

    Matthew Shields, 21, and from Westville, N.J., will be arraigned Tuesday afternoon on an aggravated manslaughter charge. He's accused of beating Ryan Coyle, a former high school baseball star, as they tailgated before the concert at the Susquehanna Bank Center.

    Coyle, 20, was partying with friends in the parking lot before the concert when Shields approached him from behind and punched him, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office said in a press release. Coyle's head hit the pavement causing serious head injuries. He was in critical condition as of Wednesday afternoon and on Friday, died from his injuries.

    Prosecutors say Shields and Coyle knew each other, but investigators are not talking about the motive behind the alleged attack. Shields turned himself in to police a day after the concert. Shields was originally charged with aggravated assault. The manslaughter charge was added after the victim died.

    The alleged attack happened about 30 minutes before the concert was set to begin. Buffett shows are renowned for wild tailgating parties where fans, a.k.a. Parrotheads, show up to party hours before the concert begins.

    Coyle was from Bellmawr. His family released a statement after his death that talked about him being a member of Gloucester Catholic's state champion baseball team and other areas teams. His family says he was full of joy and goofiness, "trademark Ryan."

    ...We know that the feeling of grief and loss extend well beyond the family. Ryan shared so many special moments with us that it would take up way too much space to share more; but those moments are written in our hearts for the rest of our lives. We appreciate the support and prayers of so many who have reached out and ask that you continue to pray for healing and peace.

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