Friend of fan punched at Panthers game says they just asked Maraghy to sit down

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gene Serba, a friend of a 62-year-old man who was punched repeatedly in a disturbing video that has gone viral, told Channel 9 they repeatedly asked the suspected assailant, Kyle Maraghy, and a woman he was with to sit down.

Serba said Maraghy continued to curse at them before he delivered the punches.

"When he turned to me, I saw the blood and there was blood like crazy on the seat in front of us and this guy got out of there,” Serba said. “He was a coward. He threw punches and then he ran."

Maraghy’s attorney told Channel 9 that the man who was punched was the instigator.

Serba said there was only a verbal exchange after asking the couple to sit down.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested Maraghy and charged him with simple assault after sucker-punching an older fan Thursday night in the upper deck of Bank of America stadium during the Panthers-Eagles game.

Kyle Maraghy pleaded guilty Tuesday to the assault after video of the attack went viral. (WSOCTV.com)

(Kyle Adam Maraghy)

Maraghy was taken to Mecklenburg County jail, but was later released and did not answer any of Channel 9's questions.

Maraghy is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

Channel 9 looked into Maraghy's past and found he was charged with assault in 2013 but those charges were dropped.

In the video, which was posted on Instagram by user "odubco," the man, now identified as Maraghy, standing up in a black Cam Newton jersey, turning around and punching the 62-year-old man in the face.

[WARNING: This video contains blood and violence. Viewer discretion is advised.]

Channel 9 reporter Tina Terry spoke to the person who shot the video, who told her that Maraghy was standing during much of the game. People behind him became agitated and they started to argue.

The video shows Maraghy eventually turning around and punching the man sitting behind him in the face.

[READ: Kuechly evaluated for concussion as Panthers fall to Eagles, 28-23]

In the video, the man who was punched begins bleeding and remains seated while his assailant continues to punch him repeatedly.

In the video, several other fans try to break up the incident before the attacker and a woman quickly leave.

As the video spread across social media Friday morning, people were calling for the man to be caught and charges to be filed.

The victim was treated at the stadium and released.

Carolina Panthers statement on the incident: 

“We have reviewed video tape of the incident and have identified the perpetrator. We are working with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department to pursue charges to the fullest extent of the law," Panthers officials released in a statement. "The Carolina Panthers are committed to a fan-friendly and family-friendly stadium experience. The behavior exhibited by the perpetrator is unacceptable and will not be condoned at Bank of America Stadium.”

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