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Ex-minor-league pitcher charged with assaulting firefighter

May 15, 2012 at 5:29 PM

NEW YORK, May 15 (UPI) -- A former minor-league ballplayer and his brother have been charged with a drunken assault on a retired New York City firefighter during a Yankees game.

Keith Stamler, 32, who pitched in the Texas Rangers farm system, and Brad Stamler, 34, were arrested Friday at Yankee Stadium, the New York Post reported.

Richard Kelly, 46, who retired as a lieutenant, told the Post he was at the game with his two sons, another retired firefighter, Bill Spade, and Spade's sons. He and Spade first encountered the brothers when two of the boys were in the bathroom and the Stamlers sat in their seats and began eating the kids' Twizzlers.

Security guards got the brothers back to their seats. But Kelly said after the game someone put an arm around his neck and knocked him to the ground. He was then kicked and hit in the head.

Spade came to his help.

"My son was crying hysterically. He gave me a hug and said, 'Dad, I thought you died the way you hit your head on the ground,'" Kelly said.

Kelly said the Stamlers were carrying beer and were slurring their words at their first encounter.

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