Wife of beaten Rangers fan appalled that bystanders allowed Philadelphia assault

Maria Auricchio still isn't emotionally ready to stomach the video of her husband's beating. Not because of his injuries, but because no one attempted to prevent them.

Neal Auricchio, a police officer from Woodbridge, N.J., was hanging out with a friend at Geno's Steaks located at 1200 South 9th St. in Philadelphia on Monday night. Both wore New York Rangers hockey jerseys, celebrating their team's victory in the Winter Classic outdoor game over the Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park.

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According to police, a few Flyers fans hired a homeless man to squirt water from a cleaning spray bottle in the faces of the Rangers fans. That led to a verbal altercation, which led to an assault by the men in Flyers jerseys that was captured on video and shocked the nation.

"I'm most upset about the fact that there were so many people around, and nobody called '911' for help," she told Fox 29 in Philadelphia on Friday. "They videotaped it and nobody called for help, and that bothers me."

Neal Auricchio, a 30-year-old former Marine who was awarded a Purple Heart for his duty in Iraq, was released from the hospital after sustaining injuries in the fight.

"When he got home, there was blood on his face," said Mary Auricchio, his wife of two years and the mother to his newborn child. "I couldn't really tell if there were cuts or anything. He went to the hospital and he did get stitches in his right cheek and in his head."


Police are still looking for the assailants. One man who claimed responsibility for the fight on Facebook was cleared by police. A source told ESPN New York that "the man's statements were only a prank and he was not involved in the melee following the Winter Classic."

The Philadelphia sports blog Crossing Broad, meanwhile, has been in contact with the person who shot the fight video and acquired an HD quality copy of the clip that produced this screen cap:

If you have any information about this crime, call South Detective Division at 215-686-3013.