Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Brief and Transparent Look at American Hooliganism (a crime of sports fit for both the young and old!)

After all the viral buzzing (Ha! pun partially intended) of yesterday's incident in Philadelphia, the question was posed to us readers: has this ever happened before?

To back up a bit, the incident involved a 17 year old alleged Phillie fan, Steve Consalvi, who seemingly called his father for permission to trespass onto Citizen's Bank Park outfield during the 8th inning of yesterday's game.  After receiving an ambivalent answer from the old man (in the father's defense, he did later call a friend of his also at the game to try to talk some sense to the boy), Steve jumped onto the field and gave chase to stadium officials only to be tasered to the ground.

If anyone cares, the boy did recover and was medically cleared before being charged with criminal trespass but this incident has brought up the legality and potential safety issues of dealing with unruly fans (as well as a few boo's judging by the fan's reaction to this tasering).

Officially, no one has ever been tasered or shot at on the field of a professional baseball game and this includes the scary 2002 incident in Chicago where a father and his 15 year old son decided to attack a Kansas City Royals first base coach with a switchblade.  Drugs and various latent domestic issues were later to blame (although the son, now 23, still counts it as a crowning achievement). 

And even this incident of gross-out proportions earlier this season at a Phillies game could have been argued that tasering the said belligerent WASN'T ENOUGH!

However, in the stands and in parking lots, tasering the unruly has become quite common judging by this list.  But allow me, for a moment, to settle my transparent gaze on an incident involving a fan at an Oakland A's game last August.  During the seventh inning in a game between the Oakland A's and Texas Rangers, stadium officials were alerted to the actions of a drunken fan being profane and beligerent.  The fan was identified as 62 year old Thomas Bruso, and based on the video of the incident, one could draw up many conclusions on whether the use of tasering was valid or not.  Although it is interesting to watch the reactions of the fans becoming unsettled and angry with the police; conjuring up the age-old mantra that violence begets violence. 

*** in a related (or un-related) note, the same Thomas Bruso who was tasered at the Oakland A's game was also involved in a racially charged fight on a public bus earlier this year which was, again, captured on video-phone.  Apparently, this loon is a semi-celebrity in the bay area and his "explanation" of why he fought does seem to purge any shred of credence he previously may have had.

Enjoy, or not.

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