A man is behind bars after allegedly assaulting an off-duty Easton police captain and his two daughters at Citizens Bank Park.
Capt. Michael Vangelo and his 16- and 11-year-old girls drove down from the Lehigh Valley to watch the Phillies take on the Washington Nationals Wednesday night when the alleged assault occurred, police said.
Vangelo, 43, says from the moment his family took their seats, a group of unruly men starting disturbing anyone near them.
"They were yelling vulgarities, obscene language," Vangelo said Thursday.
Vangelo and his older daughter asked the men to stop, but that seemed to just cause more trouble, he said.
"I had beer thrown on me and water and then one individual started spitting at the back of my daughter's chair and he actually spit on my 11-year-old daughter," he said.
Vangelo went to report the men to ushers, who promptly ejected them from the game. The man says everything seemed fine until another fan got involved.
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That fan -- identified by police as Matthew Clemmens of Cherry Hill, N.J. -- was sitting with another, unrelated group of fans who were also disciplined for acting out when he allegedly did what Vangelo describes as the "most disgusting thing" he's ever seen.
Clemmens, 21, positioned himself behind the 11-year-old's chair, stuck his fingers down his throat and vomited on the girl and her father, police said.
"He leaned forward, he projectile vomited all over me and my daughter," Vangelo said with a look of hurt splashed across his face.
Clemmens then began wailing on Vangelo after he pushed him away from the girl -- hitting the off-duty officer in the head and neck, causing his ear to bleed, police said.
Surrounding fans jumped in to help subdue Clemmens before he was arrested.
"He was still vomiting on the other fans that were holding him down," Vangelo said.
“It’s unfortunate that one fan could impact the perception that thousands of Phillies fans have anything but a positive experience when they come out to Citizens Bank Park," said Phillies Vice President Bonnie Clark. "We are sorry that the officer and his daughters were subject to such treatment. We are in the process of reaching out to them to express our concerns personally.”
Clemmens faces several charges including Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Harassment and Resisting Arrest.
There was no answer at the door of Clemmens' Cherry Hill, N.J. home Thursday. But his uncle did speak on Friday, saying that Clemmens would never do something like that intentionally.
"He's not a monster! He's a kid," said Dave Clemmens. "I think he just had a couple of extra beers that might have got him a little sick, and he accidentally vomited, putting put his hand in front of his mouth and vomited on the person in front of him, which was the picked the wrong person."
After all the disruptions and vile acts, the 11-year-old was able to come out of the game with a smile, her father said. A nearby fan caught a foul ball and gave it to the girl.
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