3 men charged in beating of Vikings fan following season opener


Three men have been charged in the beating of a Vikings fan following Minnesota's season-opening loss to the San Francisco 49ers last week in Santa Clara, California.

A video of the attack quickly went viral and showed a 35-year-old victim in a Vikings jersey being kicked and punched while on the ground outside of the stadium following the game.

Eric Martinez, 30, of San Jose, California, Juan Arias, 33, and Felix Chavira Sr., 32, both of Hollister, California were arrested on Friday and charged Tuesday on counts of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Arias also faces an additional charge of misdemeanor battery on the security guard.

According to SF Gate.com, the attack occurred after "a round of dueling sports banter," said the Santa Clara County district attorney's office.

Here is a link to the video of the attack. We should warn you that it is graphic.

"This is not a case revolving around football rivalry, it is a case of senseless and criminal violence," prosecutor Carolyn Malinsky said in a statement. "It is a true credit to the Santa Clara Police Department that they so quickly identified and arrested the attackers."

KARE 11 reports that everyone involved in the altercation left the area by the time police arrived, but investigators were able to use information on social media combined with ticketing information to identify the suspects and a teenage girl who was with them.

The suspects were arrested on Friday and charged in the attack Tuesday.

If convicted, Martinez and Chavra could face up to seven years in prison, while Arias could get four years.

A change coming?

The attack has led some members of the Santa Clara City Council to question whether they should call for alcohol sales to end at halftime during 49ers games.

"We really need to send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated," Councilwoman Lisa Gillmor told the San Francisco Chronicle.

But not everyone is a fan of the halftime booze ban. Santa Clara Police Chief Michael Sellers doesn't think shutting down alcohol sales before the second half would make much difference.

"There is an element that will still behave badly," he said. "It's an individual choice."

Gillmor adds that a halftime end to alcohol sales is one of several safety measures the council is considering.

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