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Phillies fan runs onto field, gets tasered

May 4, 2010, 6:08 AM EDT

Phillies fan taser.jpgThere’s so much going on in this photo that I’m not sure where to begin. For starters you have just the latest example of wonderful Phillies fan behavior. No, this guy didn’t puke on anyone or anything — he was simply tasered and hauled off — but you have to give Phillies’ fans the benefit of the doubt with this sort of thing and presume that he would have puked on someone had he gotten the chance. I mean, there’s a track record there.

You also have, frozen forever, the image of a police officer at the precise moment he decided to lose his job. Oh, sure, they may stretch things out a week or two and make an inquiry into the officer’s use of force, but when you decide to fire your taser at someone who, however big a knucklehead he happens to be, does not appear to represent anything approaching a threat to himself or others, you’re not coming out smelling good on the other end.

Indeed, it strikes me that maybe the security guard fired the taser because he was embarrassed that he couldn’t catch the kid and wanted to end the crowd’s laughter. While that’s funny on some level, it’s not nearly as funny when you realize that hundreds of people have died as a result of being tasered. Bad move, bro.

In any event, this was all great fun because everyone appears to have ended up being OK, but this is certainly not an incident that’s going to make anyone particularly proud.

UPDATE: Video here, at least until it is decided that it is being transmitted without the express authorization of Major League Baseball.

146 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Jen - May 4, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    Just as there should be APPROPRIATE consequences for running out onto the field and disrupting a game, there should be consequences for an officer who gets carried away and uses excessive force. Both men made exceptionally poor choices.

  2. Jason - May 4, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Thank for the article Jonny5. The last sentence was hilarious.
    “Sort of like putting jumper cables on your ears,”
    I can’t say I have ever tried that. lol

  3. Dan - May 4, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    No Craig, you cannot assume that a kid running around represents “no physical threat and no risk of serious injury.” Neither you nor the police officer on the field can make that determination at the moment he was running around.
    The fact is that you don’t know what this kid was doing. He’s jumped a fence designed to keep fans off the field, and he’s running across the grass. Then, after being shouted at to get down on the ground, he chose to ignore that and continue. At any point, he could have said to himself “OK, I’ve had my 15 seconds, I’m going to be caught anyway, I’ll get down.” and then the taser wouldn’t have been used. But he actively ignored officer commands and actively attempted evasion, which raised the stakes further.
    Plus, you don’t know what he’s out there for. Ask Monica Seles what happens when fans jump fences. Ask the 1st base umpire who was attacked by a kid and his father. The officer out there on the Phillies field is there to ensure public safety — he doesn’t know if this kid has a weapon, or what his intentions are. He could be attempting to do harm to a player or another security officer. Or maybe he wasn’t intending to at first, but has decided to do so now to avoid capture. The officer’s job is to stop him before any of that can happen.
    Plus, once a person needs to be restrained/captured, all methods carry risk. Tackling him can cause injury, as can any other method you pick. The kid assumed the risks inherent with being captured by police the instant he decided to jump the fence, and escalated the risk further when he decided to attempt evasion.
    The taser was appropriately used in this situation. This officer is nowhere near “losing his job.”

  4. Darryl - May 4, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Craig, while I do agree with most of your takes, and have tremendous respect for your knowledge and insight, (yes, there’s a huge ‘BUT’ coming) I have to say this knucklehead had it coming. Don’t run on to the field. He’s still alive, and it serves as a very effective warning to all the other knuckleheads – don’t do this.

  5. Mike - May 4, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    This is simple.
    – The kid is an idiot and hopefully he learned his lesson. If not, well, see you in the news again.
    – The police officer had absolutely no way of knowing whether or not the kid was a threat or not.
    Tase away. Twice.

  6. Matt - May 4, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Craig, how do you know he wasnt intent on doing someone harm? Because you played monday morning QB and knew after the fact that it was just some 17 year old kid? Anyone remember a few years ago when a first base coach was attacked and beat up by some idiots who jumped on the field and looked harmless until they proved that they were not harmless?
    Police already weighed in and said the cop’s use of the taser was justified so he wont be losing any job because of it. Sure the kid’s family will sue everyone on the east coast because that is what people today do. They look for payouts for being idiots. If this kid gets one dime then I’ll be jumping on to the field at Citi Field real soon, and hope the tasing begins.

  7. Tom from - May 4, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    So the kid was resisting arrest and got tased. Big deal. Let’s hope he learns a lesson from this.

    By the way Craig, although a minute percentage of tasings result in death, almost every tasing results in hilarity!

  8. steve shifnadel - May 4, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    What’s next in Philly…tasering Santa?

  9. Phillyphan - May 4, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    I really do not think that they needed to taser the kid, they should have tackeled him…or was there only one security guard on the field?
    If it had been an extremely large chested woman with a bad bleached blonde hair job that did this, I am sure the security guard would have let her approach a player and kiss him before kindly escorting her out. I have actually seen this happen and doubt any cop or security guard would ever stop a female from doing what this kid did.
    I am not for the actions of this kid, but come on…why taser? just tackle him to the ground hard and drag him off the field….or get a cop/security guard that is in better shape than the kid running on the field?

  10. Jeanette - May 4, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    GOD–what if his mother had run on field for a autograph–she’d be dead now—just a fan not a terroists

  11. Tom from - May 4, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    Epic Beard Man was also tased at an A’s game a couple years back:

  12. spiderturd - May 4, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    the next thing that will happen is a fan getting shot,thats america violence,violence more violence!

  13. tegrothe - May 4, 2010 at 4:40 PM

    They’re not a deadly weapon, that is the entire purpose of having them
    And he has a legal obligation to the players to apprehend a trespasser. You never know what someone that runs on the field is going to do. Two years ago two fans ran onto the field and assaulted the first base coach for the Toronto Blue jays. This kid is facing trespassing charges, as is clearly stated upon entering a sporting event, you’re NOT ALLOWED ON THE FIELD

  14. dsully - May 4, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Wake up and join the real world, you are about as stupid as the fan running on the field. We just had an incident in NYC, how did this cop know this was not another suicide bomber, another terriost. It is easy for you to look at a video after an incident has happened, but in the real world of police work, you can’t know a persons intent.

  15. joebert - May 4, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    It’s laughable when people think the security guards should have just tackled the kid instead of tase him. First, the guards are more likely to get injured doing this, and second, the kid is more likely to get injured from a tackle than the tasing, and finally, it is safer for everyone in the crowd to have security stay in the crowd instead of chasing some idiot around on the field.
    Tackling the guy is not safer for anyone.

  16. John P. - May 5, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    “Tasers can be very dangerous. They have killed hundreds of people”
    I’d like to see the source of that. Yes, Tasers can be dangerous, but “hundreds of people a year”?

  17. Travis H. - May 6, 2010 at 12:32 AM

    Find an article that shows someone has died as the DIRECT result of a taser. Good luck! He deserved everything that he got. Are you supposed to just let someone do whatever they want. If he was allowed to just keep running around like an idiot it would just postpone the game longer.

  18. Bill - May 7, 2010 at 12:33 AM

    Im from philly and i love how people thing we are the worst fans. I would say we have the best fans. The best part of this is that the next nite someone else ran on the feild. I LOVE THIS CITY. LETS GO PHILLIES YANKEES SUCKS

  19. Taylor whitt - May 7, 2010 at 11:30 PM


  20. Jim Heid - Jun 3, 2010 at 12:31 AM

    And does the photographer who took this spectacular image get credit anywhere on this page?
    Apparently not.

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