Bills fan allegedly assaulted by Cowboys fans, family looking for answers

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — A Bills fan had to be hospitalized after he was allegedly attacked by Cowboys fans following Sunday’s game at Highmark Stadium.

Hannah Hartzell said Sunday started as a typical gameday for her family. Throughout the game, she was texting her brother, Drew Russell, who was in the stands with his friend. Hartzell said Russell received the tickets from their parents as a Christmas present.

But after the game, things took a turn for the worse. She received a call from her brother’s phone, but when she answered, it was a woman telling her Russell had been attacked.

From what she has since pieced together, Hartzell said three cowboys fans jumped her brother as he was walking to his truck. His friend was punched, but Russell suffered a dislocated ankle, as well as a fractured leg in two places. He had to be taken to the hospital via ambulance, and underwent surgery at ECMC to get pins put in his leg.

“They came out of nowhere. Basically, from what I have gathered. I mean, my brother, like I said, is a huge Bills fan. I’m sure when he was walking out of the stadium he was probably singing the Shout song, or shouting ‘Let’s go Buffalo,’ and unfortunately that probably just made the wrong person mad at the wrong time,” Hartzell said.

According to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, deputies on scene responded to the incident after the suspect or suspects had fled. Hartzell said based on where the incident happened, she has reached out to Prohibition 2020 and O’Neill’s Stadium Inn to see if they have any surveillance video. She also reached out to Bills Mafia for help, posting on social media asking for witnesses to come forward.

“Everybody has been amazing. They have been, like I said, sharing my post all over Facebook,” Hartzell said. “I think my one post had close to 300 shares, so it’s getting around. I just pray we can find who did this to him.”

Orchard Park Police are now leading this investigation. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has any information is asked to contact them at 716-662-6444.

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Marlee Tuskes is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here and follow her on Twitter.

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