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Metal Goal Post Touches Live Wire, Injures Five Patriots Fans

December 23, 1985

FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) _ Five young men celebrating after the Bengals-Patriots football game were hospitalized with electrical burns after a section of a metal goal post taken from the stadium touched a 13,200-volt wire, state police reported.

The incident was part of the rowdiness that erupted Sunday when a near- capacity crowd of 57,953 celebrated New England’s 34-23 victory and the Patriots’ wildcard berth in the National Football League playoffs.

″This is the worst I’ve ever seen it,″ said Trooper John F. Gillespie, who has been stationed at the Foxboro barracks for seven years.

State police said 37 people were arrested on charges ranging from drunkenness to larceny and driving under the influence of alcohol, six minor motor vehicle accidents and numerous brush fires were reported after the final game of regular season play.

The five injured by electricity allegedly were among as many as 800 people who tore down the aluminum goal posts at Sullivan Stadium, broke them into sections and carried them out onto nearby Route 1 for about a quarter of a mile, blocking vehicles and pedestrians, said Tropper David Rea.

″The crowd was chanting them on,″ Rea said. ″There was a great deal of alcohol involved.″

One goal post segment eventually was put in one of the barrels on the highway, used to mark temporary traffic lanes, but the pole was top-heavy and began to tip over, Rea said. He said the five men had tried to right the pole, but were struck down by the high voltage.

″Two of them had been picked up and thrown across the road,″ Rea said.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 people were milling around the area when state police arrived, Rea said.

Gillespie identified the five injured as Robert Abramson, 19, of Dedham; Scott MacKenzie, 20, Saugus; Richard Page, 20, Georgetown; John Pallazola, 26, Boston, and a 15-year-old juvenile, whose name was not released because of his age.

The five were hospitalized with various degrees of electrical burns, said Mary Keister, night supervisor at Norwood hospital.

MacKenzie was listed in stable condition in the hospital’s intensive care section, she said. Page and the juvenile were listed in stable condition.

Abramson was listed in guarded but stable condition in the burn and trauma unit of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Pallazola, who was also listed in stable condition, was expected to be transferred to Brigham and Women’s.

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