Former Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale just wanted some peanuts.
He and his son sat through two quarters of Thursday’s Peach Bowl in Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, watching his alma mater, Pittsburgh, battle Michigan State and seeing ads for Georgia’s state crop.
So when the third quarter rolled around, and the Panthers were nursing a 14-10 lead, DePasquale left his seat in search of peanuts. He checked every stand he came to on the concourse, looking past the hot dogs and nachos for that elusive bag of shelled goodness.
DePasquale, who lives in York County, was reading a menu board when he heard shouting. He said one man was telling another “you don’t want a piece of this.” The second man, wearing a Pitt shirt, replied with the warning that he would “(expletive) kill him.”
There were dozens of people standing around. A couple of them tried to intervene.
We know this because there is a video of the exchange. Two minutes of yelling, a few punches, one woman falling to the floor after being struck and no signs of security.
That video has been viewed more than eight million times on Twitter.
at the pittsburgh vs michigan state game😂 pic.twitter.com/5IW7RPyMcc
— Malik (@__iammalik__) December 31, 2021
And DePasquale was right there in the middle of it, giving aid to the woman on the floor.
The video shows the woman trying to calm the man in the Pitt shirt. The other man approached and appeared to blow him a kiss. At that point the first man threw a punch, connecting with the woman instead of the other man.
As the woman dropped to the floor, a pair of men approached the man in the Pitt shirt, yelling “stop, just stop. Look at this, look what you did.”
“I saw her get hit,” DePasquale said Monday. “It wasn’t the blow, it was the way her head hit the ground. I believe she was [hurt], but not seriously.”
As DePasquale and another man checked on the woman, the men involved in the altercation were briefly separated. And then they weren’t.
DePasquale found himself lying on the woman to protect her as the two men grappled beside and on top of him.
“I got kneed and elbowed when I was lying on her,” he said. “I’m just thankful it didn’t get worse. A young guy, maybe 20 or 21, came up and asked what he could do. I told him to find a medic.”
And that’s when DePasquale said it hit him that there seemed like 200 people were recording the action, but no one was helping. No one was calling security.
DePasquale is heard on the video begging someone, anyone, to get security.
“It was at least five minutes before security got there,” he said. “I went back to my seat. My son asked about the peanuts, and I described the situation and said there were no peanuts at any of the stands.”
DePasquale said he didn’t know there was a video until he started to hear from friends who had seen it on Twitter. And people started to identify him in it.
“Eight million views,” he said Monday morning with a chuckle. “I can’t get eight million views on a healthcare plan. I just wanted to enjoy New Year’s with my son.”
And he wanted peanuts. And a Pitt win. He didn’t get either.
Shelly Stallsmith is a trends reporter for the York Daily Record. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter at @ShelStallsmith.
This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: Viral video: Former Pa. auditor general aides fan in Peach Bowl brawl