Ballpark Victim's Head “Punted Like a Football”

Frank Kirchner took a running start to land the final blow to David Sale’s limp and bleeding body, said a witness.

He kicked the 22-year-old’s head “as if he was a football player attempting to punt my friend’s face,” a witness testified in court Wednesday,  reports Philadelphia Weekly

Witnesses told the court in Wednesday’s preliminary hearing that Sale did not fight back in the July 25 brawl at Citizens Bank Park that ended his life. The judge decided there will be a trial.

The medical examiner’s statement that Sale had no marks on his hands, was the main reason Judge Thomas Nocella ruled that the trial will go on.

“There was no damage to his hands,” Nocella said. “All the blows were directed at him.”

While there were no signs of injury to Sale’s hands, the medical examiner testified that his ear was partially torn off, his brain was severely damaged and there were numerous injuries to his body, including cuts to his face, bowels, spleen, and the artery in his neck.

Defense attorneys argued that witnesses were not remembering the events correctly because their memories were impaired by drinking alcohol. Prosecutors rejected this idea, saying that the beating was so shocking alcohol would not blunt the memory.

One of the witnesses, Jason Johnson, is a friend of the suspects, Kirchner, 28, Charles Bowers, 35, and James Groves, 45, all of whom were on a bar tour from Fishtown the night of the fatal beating at Citizens Bank Park.

Though Johnson identified the three men as the ones who beat Sale to death, the details of his story changed several times throughout his testimony. When asked if he was threatened, Johnson admitted he was called a "rat" and told "you're gonna get it" just Tuesday in his Fishtown neighborhood.

The three Fishtown men will stand trial Aug. 28.

Contact Us