MANCHESTER, NH — Two semi-pro football players face charges after a New England Football League match-up went bad Sunday night.
Multiple units from the Manchester Police Department responded to the brawl reported at 6:15 p.m. at the West Memorial Field, located across from West High School.
Officer Andrew Choi and Angeline Alexakos arrived on scene and noted multiple “pockets” of players aggressively “going at each other.” They ultimately detained and arrested a player from the Manchester Wolfpack squad and charged him with Second Degree Assault.
Michael Vinagro, 26, of Manchester, allegedly struck the victim with a helmet and knocked him unconscious.
The victim, a 25-year old New Bedford, Mass., resident, was playing for the Whaling City Clippers out of New Bedford when the fight erupted. It is unknown what prompted the altercation, but witnesses reported the confrontation caused the victim to lose consciousness before being treated by AMR personnel. He refused further medical treatment and ended up leaving with his team a short time later.
Members of each team continued to verbally insult one another as additional units arrived on scene, police said. They ultimately channeled the players toward the parking lot, so the New Bedford team could board their bus without further incident. Although no more physical altercations broke out, plenty of players continued to verbally confront one another.
Officer Justin Maguire was one of the officers attempting to quell the situation when a New Bedford resident refused to leave the parking lot. He was identified as Dagnir Pina, 25, of New Bedford, Mass. Pina was charged with disorderly conduct and transported to police headquarters.
Vinagro was released on $2,000 cash/surety bail and is set to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on October 21, 2015. Pina was released on $500 personal recognizance. He is scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on October 22, 2015.