Kyle Adam Maraghy has been arrested after a viral videotape shows him beating a 62-year-old man who simply asked him to sit down at the recent Panthers-Philadelphia game. Maraghy and his girlfriend represent the worst of fans today at stadiums. As we have previously discussed, I do not go with my family to football games because of all of the loud and obnoxious drunks in the stands. In this case, however, Maraghy, 26, is facing jail time for his unprovoked and brutal assault, though not nearly as much as he should be facing.
Maraghy was reportedly standing and being obnoxious when the victim asked him repeatedly to sit down and stop acting like a “jerk.” Maraghy, wearing a Panthers jersey, turned and beat the man — as the girl verbally assaults him. They then fled the stadium.
The good news is that the Panthers helped identify Maraghy and Panthers Executive Director of Risk Management Lance Emory said that “The behavior exhibited by the perpetrator is unacceptable and will not be condoned at Bank of America Stadium.” Maraghy therefore might be barred from the stadium despite his Panthers tattoo reading “Keep Pounding.”
What is notable is how unruly the girlfriend is during the assault. It does not appear the police are considering a public disturbance or similar charge against the woman.
Maraghy graduated high school in 2009 and attended Mitchell Community College. He has a criminal record including violent crimes. In 2011, he was arrested for possession of LSD. In 2013, he was charged with assault and battery as well as a later arrest for assault. Then in 2015, he was charged with reckless driving.
Maraghy’s criminal record could prove important. The problem for prosecutors is that the attack is not likely to be found to constitute “serious bodily injury” for the purposes of a felony charge. This criteria is defined in § 14-32.4
“as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in prolonged hospitalization.”
The assumption is that the injuries to the victim will be deemed minor. If that is the case, the charge in North Carolina will usually be a Class 2 with a likelihood of probation and a sentence from one to 30 days in jail. However, that sentence is doubled to 60 days for someone with a record with a fine of up to $1,000. That still strikes me as remarkably light for such an unprovoked assault.
An effort to upgrade the charge to a Class 1 assault and battery would still result in a misdemeanor charge but would allow a longer sentence. Since no weapon was used, the focus would be on whether the injuries were serious. This usually means injuries required medical attention, which could conceivably apply. A Class A1 misdemeanor is punishable by probation, supervised probation, or a jail sentence of one to 60 days. However, a prior record allows a sentence of up to 150 days. Again, that seems a tad light.
What do you think?