Justice for Jets Fan James Mohr

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On May 3, 2013 in Bergen County Criminal Court, a judge sentenced Merle Lee, the man responsible for the brutal attack on James Mohr outside of MetLife Stadium on December 11, 2011, to three years in a New Jersey State Prison following Lee’s plea of guilty to the assault.

The attack left Mohr with several fractures, including his jaw and eye socket, as well as internal bleeding on his brain. He spent a week in the hospital, undergoing a four hour surgery to repair his face, and months recovering at home before being able to return to work and other daily activities.

New York Jets Fan James Mohr after Brutal AttackLee was initially cited a desk appearance ticket for disorderly conduct, but upon learning of the severity of Mohr’s injuries, police officials raised the charge to aggravated assault and a warrant was issued for Lee’s arrest. He was taken into custody two days following the attack and was indicted by a grand jury.

The judge’s ruling comes as a victory for the Mohr family, who has waited over a year for justice to be served. While the family was not present at the sentencing, the outcome was welcomed with great relief and tears of joy. It is now a closed chapter, and focus can be redirected to James’ ongoing recovery and a celebration of the strides he has made in the process.

Fans Against Violence has followed this case from the beginning, and we are ecstatic to learn of this news. We hope this serves as a lesson to fans everywhere- violence at sporting events can be extremely dangerous, even fatal, and offenders will be held accountable for their actions and poor judgment. This incident caused many people pain, and now a man will lose three years of his life behind bars for his crime. It is never worth it. No one wins. Everyone suffers. Please remember that it is just a game, and we are there to enjoy ourselves, root for our teams and show respect for our fellow man.

Fans Against Violence – A Mother’s Story

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I am a fan against violence and a mother against violence.  On December 11, 2011, my son James Mohr was assaulted in the parking lot of MetLife Stadium after a NY Jets-Kansas City Chiefs game.  James had been involved in a verbal exchange with a Kansas City fan who had made some comments about 9/11.  He thought that he would enlighten her regarding the inappropriateness of her statements.  When that discussion was ended, someone came from behind him and dealt him a beating that resulted in severe but thankfully not life-threatening injuries.  Our family continues to be affected by this incident.

Maureen and James Mohr

Maureen & James Mohr

Of course, our lives came to a standstill as we spent days and nights at the hospital before and after the surgery done to repair James’ face, which had been broken in three places.  More frightening was that he had some bleeding on the brain and had suffered a major concussion.  James was 23 at the time, and healthy and strong.  At first I obsessed about the brain and then started worrying that he would lose his dimples when his face was reconstructed.  The plastic surgeon did a magnificent job and he still has those dimples.  His eyes, however, are not in sync with one another and he still is being treated for that problem.  The effects of the concussion are less apparent – mood swings, headaches, and all the things that sons don’t share with their mothers.

I have never been able to stand violent behavior.  I can’t watch violence in movies, can’t even watch a boxing match.  I don’t understand why anyone gets pleasure from hitting someone else.  When I read about people being beaten, it used to make me sick.  Now it makes me sicker.  I think about James being left on the ground, his head bleeding and in a state of unconsciousness, and I am astounded that anyone could have done this to my son.

I question whether I should have encouraged my children to be competitive – they are indeed avid fans of some team in every sport.  They have played soccer, basketball, baseball, hockey, and have run track and are good swimmers.  They have always wanted to win, and they have always wanted their teams to win.  Although I don’t really believe that this was an instance of team rivalry, I know that those kinds of rivalries have resulted in similar violent behavior.  It is not acceptable.  We should be able to root for our teams without anticipating that a physical attack might ensue.

Given the catalyst of this event – the verbal exchange with the Kansas City fan–I wonder if I should have supported my son’s right to state his opinion about things and to believe that he could talk someone into adopting his point of view.  Freedom of speech and all that – things I thought my children should appreciate.  So I question myself constantly.

And I worry.  Never having thought something like this could happen, now I know that it can and it does and it did.  My children are adults and yet I never stop worrying.  I wonder if I ever will stop worrying and if it’s possible to resign from this job as mother.  There are doctor’s and hospital bills to contend with, a criminal case that we try to follow and of course the following up on the health issues.  When I see strangers parked on our block, I wonder if someone is stalking one of my family members; if the phone rings in the middle of the night, my heart stops.

I realize that I have become a prisoner of sorts – that someone else’s criminal act has caused me to imprison myself with fear, uncertainty and negativity.  By doing this, my spirit is impaired and everything is more difficult.  Luckily, I have come to recognize this impairment and I am determined to knock down those prison walls and enjoy my freedoms and cheer for my teams.  It is my hope that all fans may do the same in a healthy and safe environment and that no mother will have to meet her child in a trauma center after a football game.

James Mohr Foundation Fundraiser a Huge Success

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James Mohr and Rex RyanThe James Mohr Fundraiser took place on Saturday, May 12, 2012 and we are pleased to announce that it was a huge success. Friends , family members and supporters filled Strawberry’s Bar & Grill and were greeted by a smiling, upbeat James. Thanks to our very generous donors, guests had a buffet of prizes for which they were able to buy raffle tickets while snacking and sipping on the delicious food and beverages provided by Strawberry’s.

We proudly exceeded our expectations, and certainly couldn’t have done it without the many people and organizations who contributed to the event. Thanks to the money raised, James’ family can begin to pay down the mounting medical bills that his injuries have accrued. It is a tremendous weight lifted off of their shoulders.

To top off the afternoon, there was an unexpected appearance by Daryl Strawberry himself, who was gracious enough to sign autographs and pose for pictures with attendees. It was an exciting way to end the party.

We would like to give a special thanks to the following organizations and people who made generous contributions to the James Mohr Foundation Raffle.

2 Lexus Club tickets, pregame field passes and parking pass to the Jets v. 49ers game on September 30, 2012 at MetLife Stadium
Dominick Rocco 2 pairs of tickets to the Mets/Yankees subway series game on June 10, 2012 at Yankee Stadium
Terrence Ferguson 2 tickets to the Mets v. Brewers game on May 15,2012 at CitiField
2012 Superbowl Championship Poster autographed by NY Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning
8 x 10 autographed photograph of NY Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter
8 x 10 autographed photograph of NY Giants’wide receiver Victor Cruz
8 x 10 autographed photograph of Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice
$50 gift certificate to Acquista Trattoria, 179-01 Union Turnpike, Flushing, New York
Strawberry's Sports Grill Free hour of drinks for winner and 10 friends at Strawberry’s Bar & Grill
$25 gift certificate to Strawberry’s Bar & Grill
Kissena Park Golf Course 4 rounds of golf at Kissena Park Golf Course
Anthony Arnone Cleveland Golf Putter

SportsZoneMedia.com-Article on James Mohr Fundraiser

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Below is the excerpt from SportsZoneMedia.com article regarding the upcoming Fundraiser for the James Mohr Foundation sponsored by Fans Against Violence.  We’d like to thank SportsZoneMedia.com and KC Dermody for spreading the word about this great fundraiser!

To view the entire article, please visit SportsZoneMedia.com

Brutally Beaten New York Jets Fan Recovering Slowly: How You Can Help

~By K.C.Dermody-May, 06, 2012

Fortunately Mohr won the fight of his life but he’s been left with vision problems and residual effects of his brain injuries as well as a massive amount of bills.

Fans Against Violence, a group that is working to help to end violence at sporting events across the nation, reports that Mohr’s “multiple operations were not covered through his insurance company,” and between his endless doctors visits, co-payments, prescriptions and commute expenses to and from New Jersey, it’s a huge financial burden.

Not only has Mohr and his family been put through extreme emotional distress, but the bills are overwhelming. In order to help alleviate some of their stress, a fundraising event will take place in Bayside, New York next weekend at Strawberry’s Bar and Grill from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on May 12, 2012. read full article..

Vicious Attack on NY Jets Fan: Yet Another Senseless Act of Fan Violence in 2011

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A 23-year-old P.E. teacher became yet another victim of a vicious attack after a sporting event. After the game between the New York Jets and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, December 11, James Mohr, a die-hard Jets fan was jumped and brutally beaten by seven men, with at least one wearing a Chiefs’ jersey. Prior to the violent attack, the group of thugs was said to be drunk and upset after their team lost to New York. Mohr was walking through the parking lot at the stadium, when one of the attackers shouted, “F**k New York,” and “You all deserved what happened on 9/11!”

New York Jets Fan James Mohr

James Mohr - Before and after brutal attack

Mohr’s sister, Anna, said her brother took offense, especially to the 9/11 reference as their other brother is a fireman, and their father is a retired FDNY. She remarked, “He was shocked anyone would actually say something like that.”

The end result was the savage and senseless beating to Mohr. The lifelong Jets fan suffered a fractured jaw, cheekbone and eye socket in the beatdown, and also has bleeding on the brain. The victim has gone through hours of surgery to repair his shattered face and is said to be just barely hanging on.

Unfortunately, acts of violence seem to be occurring more frequently, and though football can be a dangerous game for the players on the field, the parking lot at stadiums is becoming a far more dangerous place for fans.

In March, a San Francisco Giants fan at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles was beaten so badly he suffered serious brain damage when his skull was fractured. He was in a coma for months and has only recently been able to move just slightly.

During the preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders, there were several shootings that took place, and during the game, a 26-year old man was beaten in the Candlestick Park bathroom.

While I’m not certain what the best solution to the problem is, but the banning of alcohol may eventually have to become a reality at sporting events. Angry and disappointed fans and alcohol are just not a good mix, and though it would be sad to have to punish everyone for the few who become violent criminals, is it worth even just one fan’s life to continue to make it readily available?

Patron Conduct Cancels Airing of Cowboys vs Jets Game: San Jose, CA

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One of our ‘eyes in the streets’ just sent us this photo from San Jose, California. Phil Richardson, resident of Los Gatos, spotted this sign in the front window of a San Jose pizza spot letting patrons know tonight’s Sunday Night Football matchup on NBC, Cowboys vs Jets, will not be aired due to “problems in the past.”

Fans Against Violence

Our friend says this is a low key place and he’s really surprised to see this sign. Considering the significance of tonight’s game at the new Meadowlands, this 10th Anniversary of the events of September 11th, it’s a shame that fan conduct has canceled an opportunity for fans to sit together and partake in something as uniquely American as pizza and a game.