SHELBY, NC (WNCN) – A University of North Carolina fan said he is fortunate to be alive after he was assaulted by a group of Clemson fraternity members during the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte on Dec. 5.
Ryan Pruett, 33, of Shelby, N.C., who described himself as a die-hard University of North Carolina basketball fan, said he did not have tickets to the game but had a last-minute opportunity to tailgate.
Pruett said he was with friends in a parking lot using two permits.
Pruett described the scene as a normal tailgate with kids throwing a football around the lot.
Around noon, three chartered buses pulled into the lot, he said. He said members of a specific Clemson fraternity were on the bus.
The fraternity brothers told him and other tailgaters around him to tell him if they got out of hand or if their music got too loud.
"It was unreal how many cases of beer the kids were carrying out of the buses," Pruett said. Between 4 and 5 p.m., Pruett said situation got out of control.
The Clemson students stole food from other tailgaters and even stole his friend's generator, he said.
One frat member attempted to steal a liquor bottle from a neighboring tailgate, Pruett said. The man dropped the bottle when a woman caught him, causing it to shatter.
During that same time, three men and a woman were near Pruett's vehicle when they tore off his UNC flag.
Pruett said he exited his vehicle and confronted them.
Pruett said they apologized and blamed their actions on alcohol.
"I don't know why someone would disrespect someone else's property," Pruett said.