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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. Megary - May 4, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    1st off Craig, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that this only happens in Philadelphia. We all know you are a Braves fan, but your condescending attitute towards the city (not to mention the insensate sarcasm) does your otherwise great work complete injustice. I suppose you are next going to post some snarky comments about how Cleveland is a dump and pretend it’s baseball related. That kind of “playing to the masses journalism” is for the birds. When I go see a comedian I expect more than Polish jokes.
    And I suspect Monica Seles and Tom Gamboa might see this incident in another light. The question becomes, and what you should be discussing, is whether or not tasering might actually act as a needed deterrent for “running around like a moron” on a baseball field, a practice you seem to pass off as some time honored, boys-will-be-boys troublemaking. This kid may have been harmless, and maybe the next kid in San Diego will be as well. But, what tune will you be singing when another seemingly harmless moron attacks a player, umpire or coach? Maybe next time a person wants to run around the field and get booked for trespassing, resisting arrest etc. he should first make clear his intentions to the closest security guards…let them know that he “just lost a bet” and that if it’s OK with them, he would prefer to be tackled in the grass.

  2. Old Gator - May 4, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    If I’m not mistaken the FCC has already made its position on wardrobe malfunctions perfectly clear. Given the draconian magnitude of the idiotic fine that was imposed over this grievous “accident,” I believe that there would be no formal objection to using a taser on said streaker’s bony white ass. I do believe that, as in the case of the Vichy Arizona immigration law, there would probably be complex constitutional questions raised by this – but then, who hasn’t had a wardrobe malfunction of their own, or at least dreamed about having one in public, and awakened in a cold sweat with the sound of derisive laughter slowly fading from their brains?

  3. Jon S. - May 4, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Man, that’s a slow, fat, frustrated cop.
    It’s a sad reflection on the city’s police department.
    What’s next? Using shotguns on jaywalkers? People have the right to a clear road!!!

  4. jonman - May 4, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Andy! The Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrel) reference is hilarious! Neither of these guys–the officer and the kid–look like they were high school valedictorians…

  5. gabbo - May 4, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqtPUhYdz6M&NR=1
    This is the best video. You can see the officer actually doesn’t tase him the first time around, but is ready to. It is only when the fan has a direct line with no one else in between him and Raul Ibanez does the officer use the taser. Raul even starts moving away.

  6. Evan - May 4, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    I side with the police officer on this one. The bottom line is, the officer had no idea if the fan was on drugs, armed or intending to harm himself or a player. Had they found a knife in the kid’s pocket, no one would be quarterbacking this incident. In the end, the officer used force to apprehend a suspect that was not cooperating and that was attempting to evade police in order to protect the suspect and the players on the field.
    .
    The fact that tasers can kill people is irrelevant. The officer could have killed the kid just by tackling him awkwardly.

  7. Jonny5 - May 4, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey this morning defended a police officer’s decision to Taser a 17-year-old fan who ran onto the field at last night’s Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park.
    “It was inappropriate for him to be out there on the field,” the commissioner told KYW Radio. “Unless I read something to the contrary, that officer acted appropriately. I support him 100 percent.”
    Ramsey said as far as the fan being a teenager, the officer had no way of knowing that.
    The fan has been charged as a juvenile with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and defiant trespass. He was released to his parents this morning.
    The Phillies say they plan to talk with the police about whether Tasers should be in similar situations in the future.
    just thought I’d pass on word from the commish. As i said earlier it’s all about probable cause. If resisting arrest is considered probable cause then the cop won’t be in trouble here.
    And say they penalize the cop and toss the kids charges? Well Craig, I’m sure with your background you know what kinda can of worms that’ll open in a court of law. if resisting arrest isn’t enough to taser a person then what is? Pulling a gun won’t get you tasered, it’ll get you shot, even pulling out a pencil could get you shot and the cop will get off, so where do we say ok and no way when it comes to tasers? Do I think the cop overdid it? yes. was he within reason to react that way? I also say yes.
    Captcha : continuing sweller

  8. bort - May 4, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    I think it’s interesting. In years past, when police used their guns, the argument was “they should have used non-lethal means, like a Tazer.” Now all of a sudden a tazer is a “deadly weapon”. How can you reconcile the two arguments/statements? How can people say 10 years ago that a police officer whould have used non-deadly force such as a TAZER and today claim a Tazer is deadly weapon. It is logically impossible.

  9. Morgan W - May 4, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    Evan- stick to aligning your unused coat hangers by colour and shape, dabbing anti-bacterial handwash on yourself after opening one of your own doors….and last but not least…try not to kick your Cat so much.
    “The fact that tasers can kill people is irrelevant. The officer could have killed the kid just by tackling him awkwardly”
    Is this out of a movie??? I can actually picture Will Ferrel saying something like this.

  10. jeff - May 4, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    Absolutely justified. Thankfully the officer had the tazer. Who knew what the kid’s intentions were. With all the crazy people running around the officer acted appropriately.

  11. jeff - May 4, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Absolutely justified. Thankfully the officer had the tazer. Who knew what the kid’s intentions were. With all the crazy people running around the officer acted appropriately.

  12. Morgan W - May 4, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    I understand your statement but the defining factor being a 17yr old kid running about in a sporting event. If it was in a back alley in the worst part of town at 3am and the kid happened to turn round towards you in a suspect manner…tazer away. But using something which can kill and mame someone because a 17yr old kid is too difficult to catch while running round on a fied….lets keep the logical cap on shall we. If this was 30yrs ago…what would of happened??? One of the players might of actually tripped him with his leg or something? Once again…if he was naked…would he of been tazered??!!!!

  13. bort - May 4, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    “….lets keep the logical cap on shall we.” A little condescending but ok.
    So it seems the ultimate question of the leathality of a tazer depends on the circumstances. Or, more accuratley, there are “degrees” of leathality. If a suspect is in custody/resisting, then a tazer is not considered lethal but when the suspect is 17 and fleeing, it’s a potentially lethal weapon. I’m not sure what the law says about that point, but it’s interesting nontheless.

  14. RocketJL - May 4, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    Please folks, let’s get real. The kid had evaluated all these things prior to committing the act. It appears his father knew what the possible outcomes could be also. So off the kid goes and he gets some security guard chasing him, and one outcome comes true. He does not get any ball players to chase him, too bad. No other fans join him or chase him, that is more bad. He could get caught by secured and roughed up during the capture, he knows that. Since they could not catch him, they tasered him, that worked. Lucky for him he got the taser, he clearly understood that though it was very remote, he could have been chased by someone as stupid as he was and gotten himself shot. How about that dad, your son got shot for being a jerk with your tacit approval. How would mon like that?????

  15. DiamondDuq - May 4, 2010 at 1:08 PM

    Hindsight is 20/20 but in the heat of the moment it is the officer’s responsibility to detain the perpetrator, it’s that simple. If the officer was incapable of actually tracking down the perpetrator, which it appeared he was, a taser was the best solution available. To those who would say “the kid posed no risk and would have eventually left the field” or “he was not a fleeing suspect because he had nowhere to go”, are we supposed to assume anyone who trespasses on an athetic surface is a harmless idiot and only act AFTER something horrific happens? What happens if next time, and we all know there will be a next time, security takes the stance that they’ll just let the idiot have his 15 seconds of infamy and after running around like an idiot for a few seconds, appearing harmless, stabs someone? Tasers are most certainly non-lethal. A Defense department study of tasers found that only 0.6% of taser use results in “serious injury”, which isn’t even just death, and in cases where death did occur an overwhelming majority were people with existing medical conditions, drug use or some other stimulants. Any law enforcement officer who is issued a taser must submit to having a taser used on them first. This officer was fully aware of the effects of using the taser and did absolutely nothing wrong!

  16. Megary - May 4, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Morgan, I wasn’t aware that the police knew beforehand that this kid was only 17 years old and that his intentions were clear. Do you have a linky to where this was admitted?
    And the next person that mentions that tasering can kill or mame someone must also note the likely % that said killing and maming will occur. According to Craig’s link regarding tasers:
    “A study led by William Bozeman, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, of nearly 1,000 persons subjected to Taser use, concluded that 99.7% of the subjects had either minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises, or none at all”
    So what are the chances in 1000 of a person jumping the fence and having intentions of harming a player, coach or umpire?

  17. GoPhils! - May 4, 2010 at 1:15 PM

    For all you people that suggest it was excessive force, what should be allowable in this case? You think a 220+ pound cop fully tackling a little 17 year old to the ground would actually have been a better option? Or should no force be allowed and we all just wait around until the kid gets tired?
    I mean, yes, the kid doesn’t seem to be a violent threat. He’s not dressed in all black, wearing a mask and waiving a gun, which is obviously what anybody that could potentially be dangerous would be wearing (sarcasm). But, from the video Gabbo posted, Raul doesn’t seem too happy to see the kid running his way.
    The cop did what he had to do and put the kid down. I think he was 100% right to do it, and happily so does Commissioner Ramsey:
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2010/05/police-stand-behind-officer-who-tasered-phillies-fan/1

  18. Kotawolf - May 4, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Okay, lets look at this people.
    How many of you think it was right, intelligent, what ever for this kid to go running on the field??
    How many of you think that the police officer didn’t yell.. STOP!!!!???
    Okay now we have a kid that is ignoring orders from a officer of the law. Interrupting a televised event..possibly internationally televised event. What do you suggest that he (the officer) does? I say Taser the kid. Likelihood of killing someone with a Taser… not high…351 deaths in 10 YEARS. Okay.. yes that is 35 a year.. about 3 a month averaged out. Many of those if you read up on them we people who were overloaded on drugs or alcohol or had other health issues. One of the ones I researched had to be tazed 5 times before the police were able to bring him under control.. should they have just put a bullet in him first??? (yes sarcasm)
    How many people die in auto accidents every year? 33,963 last year.. So get off your high horse about a cop doing his job and tasering some kid who decides that he doesn’t have to pay attention to the law. Most of those traffic deaths you can be are because someone decided the law didn’t apply to them either.
    I applaud the officers actions. If we had fewer people who thought the laws didn’t apply to them then maybe more people would be alive today.

  19. John - May 4, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Using a taser is a very safe and harmless way to take a situation under control.
    You must be joking. Do you know how many people have died from being tasered?

  20. spiderturd - May 4, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    thank god it wasnt a black kid then we would of heard from loud mouth professional racist al and jessie!!!!!!

  21. Joe - May 4, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    Dude, take a spelling class.

  22. Jason - May 4, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    I have a perfect punishment for him.
    Make him run in the “running of the bulls”.

  23. Jonny5 - May 4, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20100504_Philly_not_first_to_Taser_a_fan.html

  24. Jason - May 4, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    I bet it is less then the amount of people that die in an auto accident each year.

  25. Old Gator - May 4, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    Just a quick and sobering note – not that I wanna blow yet another lid off this discussion or anything, but I’f I’m not mistaken we’re holding this little seminar on the excessive use of force on the 40th Anniversary of the murders of unarmed college students by a bunch of triggerhappy cracker national guardsmen at Kent State University. May 4, 1970. Another day for America to be proud of.

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