Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Turns Fatal

Murder charge for Yanks fan accused of mowing down rival fan outside N.H. bar.


May 5, 2008— -- A New York Yankees fan has been charged with second-degree murder after allegedly ramming her car into a group of people outside a New Hampshire bar, killing a Boston Red Sox fan.

Ivonne Hernandez, 43, was arraigned this morning in Hillsborough District Court on reckless second-degree murder and drunken driving charges. She did not enter a plea and will be held without bail.

The murder charge followed the weekend death of 29-year-old Matthew Beaudoin, who was one of two people struck early Friday morning by Hernandez in a Nashua, N.H., parking lot after an altercation that reportedly involved fans of the rival big league teams.

Hernandez, of Nashua, had initially been charged with two counts of felony reckless conduct, but one of the charges was increased after Beaudoin's death.

"One of the pedestrians sustained minor injuries," according to the Friday release from the state Attorney General's Office. "The second pedestrian sustained life-threatening injuries."

Beaudoin, of Nashua, died from his injuries after being transported to a Massachusetts hospital.

Prosecutors did not immediately return a call from ABC News, but they told New Hampshire affiliate WMUR that words were exchanged outside a bar behind Nashua City Hall early Friday morning between Hernandez and a group that included Beaudoin.

Some kind of taunt allegedly was made about a Yankees sticker on Hernandez's maroon Dodge Intrepid, prosecutors told WMUR, and she drove across a dirt parking lot directly at the group.

"Mr. Beaudoin was struck by Miss Hernandez's vehicle," Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell told WMUR. "He went onto the windshield and then, when the car hit the parking meter, he was ejected into the middle of Elm Street. He died of massive head trauma."

Morrell said that Hernandez accelerated at a high speed for about 200 feet before slamming into Beaudoin and a second victim. "She indicated to police that she wanted to scare this group of people," Morrell said. "She thought they would get out of the way."

Hernandez told authorities that she had been in an argument with the group. She was arrested at the scene by the Nashua Police Department.

A local bartender told the Associated Press that at least one person in Beaudoin's group had been chanting negatively after seeing the Yankees sticker on her car.

This is not the first time that the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, considered among the most long-standing and bitter in all of American sport, has spilled from the field to a courthouse.

A pair of Yankees, Jeff Nelson and Karim Garcia, agreed to perform 50 hours of community service and undergo anger management counseling to avoid going to trial on misdemeanor assault charges linked to a bullpen fight at Fenway Park involving the Yankee players and a member of the stadium ground crew.

That altercation took place during Game 3 of the 2003 American League Championship series when Nelson, a bullpen pitcher, confronted the Fenway employee about waving his "rally towel" inside the Yankees bullpen. Garcia, an outfielder, was charged after he jumped the fence and allegedly joined the brawl. That dust-up followed a bench-clearing brawl in which then-Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez infamously rolled elderly Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer to the ground.

In March of this year, a group of Red Sox fans allegedly beat a Yankees fan outside a Central Square bar in Cambridge, Mass., before fleeing on foot. The victim, targeted specifically because of his Yankees hat, had to be transported to a local hospital for medical treatment, according the Cambridge Chronicle.

The long-standing rivalry was initially blamed for a fight outside a Yonkers, N.Y., Ramada Inn in October 2007 that left one Red Sox fan badly beaten and resulted in the arrest of two men. In that case, authorities in New York tried to beat back reports that team loyalty triggered the fight. A Red Sox spokesman at the time said the beaten man would receive a free ticket to a Red Sox game.

In another less violent but impassioned recent episode, contractors tore up part of the new Yankee stadium after learning that a Red Sox fan working on the Bronx project had inserted a David Ortiz jersey under two feet of concrete in hopes that that the clutch Red Sox slugger's presence would hex the Yankees when they move into their new home next season. The jersey ended up raising $175,000 for the Jimmy Fund, a cancer research charity.

The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox are two of the oldest and most popular franchises in Major League Baseball. The New York Yankees have won 26 world championships, while the Red Sox have won seven. The Red Sox, however, are the reigning champs and also won the title in 2004. The Yankees last won a championship in 2000.

Prior to the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series, the team suffered through an 86-year lull without a championship thanks to what fans called the "Curse of the Bambino," a reference to the team's 1920 decision to sell legendary slugger Babe Ruth to the Yankees.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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