JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Video of a Houston Texans fan being punched in the stands last month by a Jacksonville Jaguars fan quickly went viral around the country. Two weeks later, we are hearing for the first time from the man who was hit along with his wife
Jana and Cameron Patrick told News4Jax they want to set the record straight about what led up to the fight and then what they call the "sucker punch" that has led to ridicule and her being banned from TIAA Bank Field forever.
Before the punch
The Patricks say shortly after getting out of their car Oct. 21 to watch the Houston Texans take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field, they started wishing they had watched the game from home. They are Texans fans, but they moved from Houston to Jacksonville in January -- and have been looking forward to seeing their team ever since the 2018 season schedule was announced.
The Patricks were also hoping to check this game off of a wish list they had.
"There is this dream we had a few years ago a few years ago that we were going to put into place that we were going to start to visit every stadium," said Cameron.
The Patricks brought two friends to the game with them -- who were also Texans fans and also new Jacksonville residents.
"We get to the front of the stadium to go to the gate and we start hearing, 'This is why we built a wall. You need to go back,' because the couple with us was Hispanic," Jana explained.
The Patricks say they took it in stride, but once in their seats, they say the taunting continued. It got so heated, S.A.F.A Security, the company that manages safety for the stadium, sent employees to their section.
They were there when the Patricks say the man who would eventually sucker punch Cameron got in their friends face once again.
"When he screamed, 'You stupid Mexican, just go back and make tacos,' she chucked her beer in his face," said Jana.
A few minutes later came the punch seen around the country.
The punch: Their story
"People see this, and this is how we are portrayed and they don't care to know the truth because the truth may not be as good as this juicy story of drunk couple starts a fight," Jana said.
"It's not that we are some drunk, redneck fan that went to start trouble. We wanted to watch a game, that's it. I had one beer. He (Cameron) was on his second when this happened," she added.
The Patricks say not only were they sober, they say they were actually trying to end the arguing.
Cameron said after the beer was thrown -- right before he was punched -- his wife and the couple they were with were leaving the game and walking down the stairs. And the man who threw the punch had run up to their row and was in their seats.
According to Cameron, this is what happened right before he was punched:
"Right before he hits me, I turn to him as we are trying to leave and apologize for her throwing the beer. All I said was, 'I apologize for what she did. Let me get them out of here.'"
Then, Cameron was hit with a fist.
"Do you feel like you were sucker punched?" News4Jax asked Cameron.
"Absolutely," he answered. "I had not idea it was coming. I thought that he and I were done."
As seen in the viral video, Jana ran back up the stairs toward the man who hit her husband.
She admits she snapped. She regrets that and she's now banned from TIAA Bank Field because of it.
Cameron remained on the cement stairs for a couple of minutes, and once he regained consciousness, he and Jana were both taken away in handcuffs.
"More than anything I don't understand why," Cameron said.
He said he doesn't know why he was punched, and the Patricks also questions how the punch was able to happen. The reason: Security was already near them when the punch was thrown.
"I read one of the statements which was, oh, they commend S.A.F.E. Security for getting there so quickly. They didn't get there quickly, they were there," Jana said "So you're training needs to be better in these situations. They need to understand how to handle these and how to prevent it from happening -- not just stand there afterward and clean up the carnage."
News4Jax reached out to S.A.F.E. Security to find out why employees didn't interfere prior to the punch. Management said procedure and protocol was followed and management responded with the following statement:
S.A.F.E. Management is firmly committed to maintaining a safe and enjoyable experience for all who visit TIAA Bank Field, including fans of the visiting team.
We in no way condone the behavior during the Oct. 21 Jaguars vs. Texans game, which included a physical altercation between fans in the east stands. The two individuals involved in the altercation were ejected from the stadium. Each party, whether a Jaguars season ticket member or a single game purchaser, has had their ticket purchasing privileges rescinded.
S.A.F.E. Management personnel and JSO officers were immediately on the scene when the situation arose, and responded according to protocol and policy.
Even though we asked, S.A.F.E Security would not release the name of the man who delivered the punch.
Cameron said he was not offered medical attention at the stadium. He said he went to a doctor several days later and was told he did suffer a concussion.
They do want to press charges
You may have read on social media or heard on the news that the reason the man who threw the punch wasn't arrested was that no one involved wanted to press charges. The Patricks say that is not true.
"Did they say anything to you about pressing charges?" we asked Cameron and Jana.
"Absolutely not," said Cameron.
"They never asked us do you want to press charges?" said Jana. "Quite frankly, there was so much going on, we wouldn't think we would have to ask. I would assume as an officer if you saw that happen, it would have automatically been done."
We asked the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, and we were told it's not automatic that charges would be filed. But again, the Patrick's say they were never given the option at the game. They say they were just escorted out of the stadium and to their car.
So now, the Patricks are just trying to find out the identity of the punch-thrower. They have hired Jacksonville attorney John Phillips to help them as they move forward.
Jana and Cameron Patrick are also concerned this fight isn't over. They say Texans fans are threatening revenge or retaliation when the Jaguars play in Texas on Dec. 30.
"We tried to tell our friends in Houston when it comes to retaliation, everybody has to go work Monday morning and nothing good is going to come out of that," said Cameron.
The Patricks say enough is enough and want fans in Houston to take the high road and treat visiting Jags fans with respect, and under no circumstance, do they want Texans fans taking this any further.
"Why would I want someone to get hurt because we got hurt," the Patricks said. "That doesn't solve anything."