PHILADELPHIA – A New Jersey man is facing charges after police say he intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl and her father in the stands during a Philadelphia Phillies game.
Matthew Clemmens, 21, of Cherry Hill, N.J., was charged with assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and related offenses for the incident at Wednesday night’s Phillies-Nationals game. He was being held Friday on $36,000 bail.
Police say Clemmens made himself vomit on an off-duty police captain and one of his daughters after Clemmens’ companion was kicked out of Citizens Bank Park for unruly behavior, which included cursing, spitting and spilling beer by Clemmens and a friend.
According to an account in the Philadelphia Daily News, Clemmens and his friend were asked by the 15-year-old daughter of Michael Vangelo, an off-duty Easton police captain, to stop cursing and spitting. A short while later, Vangelo said, it started again.
“One guy started spitting… first it landed on the back of my daughter’s chair. Then it landed on her hooded sweatshirt,” Vangelo said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
After Vangelo reported the incident to stadium officials, Clemmens’ friend was led out of the stadium. At that point, Vangelo said Clemmens said he would be sick and “put two fingers down his throat.”
He then “leaned forward and started vomiting on us,” Vangelo said, according to the Daily News.
“It was the most vile, disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. He has two fingers down his throat, he lunges forward and vomits on myself and my 11-year-old.”
Vangelo said he tried to push his children safely behind him, and Clemmens punched him in the face. Four or five fans in the next section rushed to help, Vangelo said. They held him until police arrived – someone punching Clemmens in the face as he tried to break free – and an officer was also hit with vomit, Vanore said.
“It reminds you of the type of behavior you used to hear about at the 700 level in Veterans Stadium,” Philadelphia police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore said, according to the Daily News.
Vangelo told the Daily News he didn’t hit Clemmens because “I kept thinking, ‘If I get arrested, my kids will be alone here.’”