Tuesday, May 4, 2010

City of "Don't Tase Me Bro" therly Love

A 17 year old Phillies fan was tasered by ballpark security shortly after running onto the field during the 8th inning of lastnight's ballgame between the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals. The fan hopped a fence and ran around the outfield, eluding two officers before being tasered by a third.

Police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore told The Philadelphia Inquirer police internal affairs will open an investigation to determine if the firing “was proper use of the equipment.” The Phillies team spokesman said that this is the first incidence of security using a taser to subdue a fan that ran out on the field.

The young man that was tasered, whose name was not released because he is a minor but was later identified as Steve Consalvi, will be charged with criminal trespass and related offenses.

Hopefully, the tasering of this young man and the semi permanent burns that he will have on his back throughout his lifetime will serve as a reminder to all the knuckleheads out there thinking of duplicating these sophomoric actions that, once they cross the line from the stands to the field, they are no longer a spectator and the rules as they knew them in spectator land cease to exist.

This young man could've just been some silly teenager, full of beer bravery, making good on a junior high school dare. He also could've been William Ligue, Jr. and his shirtless 15 year old son mercilessly attacking then Kansas City Royals 1st base coach Tom Gamboa or Gunter Parche running on the court and stabbing tennis star Monica Seles.

The security at Citizen's Bank Park, and all sports arenas throughout America for that matter, are paid to protect the lucrative assets on the field primarily and, secondarily, to protect the fans in the stands so that everyone has an enjoyable experience at the ballpark. When fans abdicate their contractual obligation to stay in their seats and behave themselves and decide to enter the field of play (or vice-versa as was the case when Ron Artest entered the stands in Detroit), bad results are an inevitability.

There will be questions about when the appropriate time is to use tasers to subdue offenders and whether they are the safest method of intervention.

The moral of this story is, if you plan to run onto the playing surface at your local mass amusement venue, lather on the vaseline and wear lots of layers.

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