ORLANDO, Fla. – An off-duty Orange County deputy who was working security Sunday at the Orlando City soccer match was attacked, beaten and choked while trying to break up a fight between fans, police said.
Orlando City beat New York City FC 1-0 in the first match ever played at Orlando's new soccer-only stadium.
Police said Monday that Felix Vazquez, 27, and Katerine Sopilidis, 24, both of whom live in the Bronx, were arrested in the incident.
Luciano Migliore, 19, also from New York, is charged with affrays and resisting an officer without violence.
Vazquez faces charges of resisting with violence, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting without violence and disorderly conduct. Sopilidis faces charges of affray and resisting arrest without violence.
Sopilidis told News 6 that she and her boyfriend, Vazquez, were not the aggressors. Sopilidis said her boyfriend did not touch the deputy.
After the game, several witnesses told News 6 that a New York fan got into an argument with an Orlando City fan on Church Street, about a block from the stadium.
A witness said a security officer, identified as Orange County sheriff's Deputy Gustavo Marinoni, tried to stop the fight, but he was attacked. Orlando police Lt. Robert Bear said several people involved in the fight struck and choked Marinoni.
Orlando police said Marinoni used his radio to call for help and about 50 officers responded.
"I was just hoping the officer was going to be OK and they could contain the situation," a witness said. "Then they started attacking the cops. They got clotheslined. He got slammed on the floor and then it just became chaos."
Marinoni suffered a leg injury and was taken to a hospital. He was later released and is recovering at home, officials said.
Marinoni is assigned to the Orange County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit and has been employed by the agency since 2002.
The Orlando Fire Department said three people were treated after they were pepper-sprayed at the scene.
Sopilidis said she is retaining a lawyer.
Vazquez had his first appearance Monday morning. An Orange County judge set his bond at $20,000 and Vazquez asked for a public defender.
Meanwhile, photos posted on social media show a New York fan being arrested while carrying what appears to be a purple seat from inside the stadium.
It's not known if the incident was related to the fight.