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Oakland Raiders fans have been tied to the beating of a Cowboys fan, following a Thanksgiving Day game in Texas. After the Cowboys' win, the victim was found on the sidewalk at Cowboy Way and AT&T Way unconscious, ESPN reports.
The name of the victim has not yet been released, though his injuries are reportedly not life-threatening. Police are currently still looking for witnesses to the incident.
Once more details unravel, what charges do the Raiders' fans look to face?
Fan Rivalry Leads to Possible Criminal Charges
Even in absence of more details, the accused Raiders fans could possibly be facing serious assault charges. Under Texas law, assault and battery occurs when one tries to physically injure another or acts in a way that places another in fear of immediate harm. Battery results if there has been any kind of intentional touching, like punches or kicks.
In this case, because the Cowboys fan was beaten to the point of being found unconscious, the prosecution may pursue aggravated assault charges -- which carry significantly higher penalties.
Anyone who is found guilty of committing simple assault in Texas, however, is guilty of at least a misdemeanor .
Because there were several Raiders fans allegedly involved in the victim's beating, a criminal conspiracy may exist here. Conspiracy charges can typically be filed when two or more persons agree to commit an unlawful act and then take steps toward its completion. In this case, the Raiders fans may have planned to attack the Cowboys fan ahead of time, maybe while they were still inside the stadium.
In Defense of One's Team?
Despite all the likely charges, do the Raiders fans have any possible defenses?
Self-defense is a common defense when it comes to assault and battery. If the Raiders fans could prove somehow that they were defending themselves, or that the Cowboys' fan/victim had attacked or provoked them first, a claim of self-defense may work in their favor.
However, self-defense seems rather unlikely, especially since the Cowboys fan was outnumbered four to one.