A Holbrook Jets fan who was among 10 finalists for the team’s inaugural Fan Hall of Fame despite being caught on video punching a female New England Patriots fan in 2013 said he was informed by the team Monday that he was no longer in consideration.
Kurt Paschke, 43, was banned from MetLife Stadium after his run-in with the female fan was videotaped and the incident went viral. Paschke was allowed to return to MetLife Stadium in 2014 after completing an online fan conduct course and writing a letter of apology.
The Jets said Monday they have ended the voting for the Fan Hall of Fame contest while the team reviews “all policies and procedures” for selecting the winners.
“I’m disgusted by it,” Paschke said of no longer being a candidate.
The 10 candidates were removed from a page on the team’s website Monday after Newsday inquired about Paschke’s candidacy on Friday. The Jets started the contest in August, looking to induct three fans into the Fan Hall of Fame. Fans had to submit a photo of themselves supporting the team and write an essay of no more than 150 words on why they should be featured.
Three Long Islanders, including Paschke, were among the 10 finalists. Fans needed to live in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut areas to be eligible.
“Voting for the Jets Fan Hall of Fame has been terminated to ensure full compliance with all contest rules and consistency with Jets standards,” the Jets said in a statement.
“As a result, this year’s winners will be selected by a panel of Jets alumni and executives. Going forward, the Jets will be reviewing all of its policies and procedures relating to the Jets Fan Hall of Fame.”
Paschke and three others, including the woman he punched, were charged with assault and disorderly conduct after the 2013 incident, according to the New Jersey State Police. The charges against Paschke were later reduced to a $289 ticket for “unnecessary noise,” according to an East Rutherford Municipal Court record obtained by Newsday.
“That was an incident highly blown out of proportion,” Paschke said on Friday. “You always want to think you can move on, but people will always dig into it.”
Paschke said he regretted what happened and said he was punched 31 times before throwing a punch himself as he tried to protect family members. Police said Paschke was kicked and punched in the face and body by the woman he hit and her friend.
“I never got in trouble with the [stadium] staff, never a problem,” Paschke said on Friday. “I tailgate outside the stadium and bring fans to the games and encourage them to root for the Jets.”
In 1992, Paschke was convicted of negligent homicide in the killing of Henri Ferrer of Bay Shore during a fight in Sayville. Paschke spent close to three years in prison.
“You do your time and move on,” Paschke said on Friday. “We live in a society that sometimes doesn’t agree with that.”
He initially was charged with murder, but his defense attorney, Thomas Spota, the former Suffolk County district attorney, successfully argued that the grand jury had not been instructed on justification and self-defense. A second grand jury indicted Paschke on second-degree manslaughter charges, but at trial he was convicted of the lesser negligent homicide.