Flyers Fans Brutalize Purple Heart Medalist For Wearing Rangers Jersey In Line At Genos

INQUIRER: Wearing a No. 24 Ryan Callahan Rangers jersey, Neal Auricchio [NOT pictured, above, that’s Bobby Clark in the 70s] stands surrounded by Flyers fans. He appears as a small man with his hands out, as if trying to play peacemaker. A man who looks to have about a one-foot height advantage on him removes his dark coat with white fur trim, uncovering his No. 28 Claude Giroux Flyers jersey. He shoves Auricchio, who still has his hands out, and then throws a punch. Auricchio throws back, punching up, but is quickly overwhelmed when a man in a No. 68 Jaromir Jagr jersey begins punching him, too. The two hit Auricchio about a dozen times as he lies on the ground. When a Flyers fan tries to pull them off Auricchio, the man with No. 28 and two other men begin to beat another Rangers fan. When Auricchio stumbles to that man’s aid, No. 28 blindsides him with a punch, knocking him to the ground unconscious. Some people yell, “Enough! Enough!” and, “Easy!” Someone else yells, “Go to sleep!” No. 68 then kicks Auricchio. No. 28 steps over him and picks up his fur-trimmed coat. MORE

DAILY NEWS: Police confirmed that the main victim was an off-duty Woodbridge, N.J., cop who is an Iraqi war vet. Nodiff said that the officer had suffered a concussion and required numerous stitches. The whites of his eyes are filled with blood and his entire face is black-and-blue, Nodiff said. “He sustained a very brutal beating,” Nodiff said. Last night, the Newark Star-Ledger identified the off-duty cop on its website,, as Neal Auricchio Jr., 30, and reported that he was awarded the Purple Heart in 2007 after surviving a sniper’s attack in Iraq. Auricchio “won Woodbridge’s ‘Hero Award’ in the same year and was praised by colleagues for his work as a police officer and volunteer firefighter in Middlesex County,” the report said. MORE

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