The upchuck that was heard 'round the world continues to fascinate people, in a horrified sort of way.
I'm talking, of course, about Matthew Clemmens, the Cherry Hill, N.J., man who allegedly forced himself to vomit on the 11-year-old daughter of Easton Police Capt. Mike Vangelo at Wednesday's Phillies game. (To read the original story, click here.)
Today, my colleague Jason Nark caught up with one of Clemmens' relatives, who defended the 21-year-old. I checked in with Vangelo, who stands by the disturbing chain of events that he and police say unfolded earlier this week. Oh, and the Phillies released a statement, expressing regret for the ordeal Vangelo and his two daughters endured. Here's a brief glimpse of the story, which will appear in tomorrow's Daily News:
To much of the civilized world, Matthew Clemmens was known yesterday as “Pukemon,” a slovenly schlub from South Jersey who was accused of making himself vomit on a little girl.
Word of Clemmens’ vile alleged misdeed at Wednesday night’s Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park spread faster than a spilled beer, causing the 21-year-old to be fast-tracked into the Philly fan Hall of Shame.
On blogs, TV and radio shows and in newspaper articles, people couldn’t stop talking about Clemmens and another man who, police say, cursed, spilled beer and even spat on Easton Police Capt. Michael Vangelo and his two daughters during the game.
Voters on Philly.com deemed him the city’s all-time low in a landslide.
But not everyone agreed. Clemmens’ uncle insisted that his nephew isn’t the brutish, pinpoint puke he’s being made out to be.
"The kid is one of the average kids who went to the game and had a few beers, and maybe a few beers before the game,” said Dave Clemmens, 48, of Berlin, New JerseyN.J.
“Matt’s a nice kid. Maybe a little overweight, but he has a good heart.”
Vangelo, 45, was unmoved yesterday by Clemmens’ defense of his nephew.
“Maybe he’s trying to minimize his involvement in the whole thing,” he said, “but I know what I saw. It was intentional, without a doubt.”
Vangelo said he received several e-mails yesterday from other fans who said they witnessed the sick scene and offered to testify on the cop’s behalf.
"It was nice to see that,” said the longtime Phillies fan, who said he’s attended dozens of games over the years without incident.
Vangelo said his daughter had bounced back from her encounter with the barfer — although the jacket she wore to the game that night was ruined.