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Watch “Jungle Bird Man” run on the field at Nats park, get roughed up by security

May 19, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

Jungle Bird Man AP

At the Mets-Nats game on Friday night an environmental activist named Andrew Dudley, who goes by the name Jungle Bird Man, ran onto the field at Nats park, ran the bases, pantomimed a home run and then was promptly taken down and arrested. You can read his about his whole back story and his motivations at the Washington Post today.

None of that interests me all that much. I mean, go environment, but I doubt Jungle Bird Man is going to further the cause all that much by trespassing and videobombing sporting events. Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe Jungle Bird Man is the key to a verdant future. I guess we’ll see.

What does interest me is the takedown by security. Come for the fans demanding that he be tased, stay for the crazy-excessive force used by security against a guy who had his hands out in a “cuff me” motion representing complete surrender to authority:

Based on past comment threads around here, I’m sure many of you will cite Tom Gamboa, Monica Seles, 9/11 and the movies “Experiment in Terror” and “The Last Boy Scout” and claim that one can never be too careful. But I’m sorry, if security can’t appreciate that this guy is not a threat and can’t handle that guy without a choke-slam, something is pretty darn wrong.

Can anyone point to a moment where the guy threatened anyone on the field? Any point where he appeared to be dangerous or aggressive? Any point where he appeared to pose a risk to players, fans or security personnel? If you can identify it please let me know. If you can’t, and if you still think it was cool for the guy to be slammed to ground like that, you’re saying that all trespassing incidents justify the use of violent force.

117 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. nbjays - May 19, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    I absolutely believe that society has become way too paranoid. I don’t recall Morganna the Kissing Bandit ever being forcibly taken down by security, even though she’d be much more fun to tackle than some loon in a bird costume. And she was very obviously packing some big guns…
    :-)

    • metalhead65 - May 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      nobody tackled her because everyone knew who she was and was only a threat to a players marriage or girlfriend. who knows what some whack job in a bird costume will do? no better to wait until a homicide bomber decides to run on filed and blow up a few people before you take it seriously.

      • nbjays - May 19, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        If they were taking it seriously, tell me why they let him go through his whole routine of rounding the bases and pretending to hit a home run before they thought to take him down. Also, if you read the accompanying article, then you’d know that this guy is also a known entity and pretty much harmless.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 19, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      Completely different time NB. Not even close. Hell…during her day you could still smoke in your seats at games. Now…you would be lucky to even get a pass out to smoke at most stadiums.
      For further proof…let’s compare ballpark prices during these two completely different periods.

      • nbjays - May 19, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        What do ticket prices have to do with anything? I’m just making the point that paranoia is getting out of control. Case in point, what if someone like Morganna came along today… would she be regarded in the same spirit of fun that she was in her day, or would she be forcibly taken down by security, even if she was just as harmless now as back then?

      • stlouis1baseball - May 19, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        That is precisely my point. Completely different periods in time NB. So to that…hell yes should would be dealt with accordingly.

  2. metalhead65 - May 19, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    trespass and suffer the consequences. it is pretty simple really do not break the law and you won’t have to worry about over reaction from security or the cops. being soft on crime is one reason why there is so much of it today. yeah let’s give him double secret probation the first 5 times they are arrested because that will show them. and the examples you scoff at are good enough for me to be as forceful as possible to these nut jobs.

    • nbjays - May 19, 2014 at 1:14 PM

      Except if they were so paranoid that he was going to hurt someone, they certainly gave him lots of time to do just that before they decided to tackle him.

    • happytwinsfan - May 19, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      Actually, national crime rates have declined considerably since the early nineties.

      • perryt200 - May 19, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        hmmm. gun permits?

      • clemente2 - May 19, 2014 at 1:51 PM

        metalhead does not care for your facts

    • ashot - May 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      Lawyer: Your Honor, it’s is pretty simple really do not break the law and you won’t have to worry about over reaction from security or the cops. The defense rests.

      Judge: Really, you’re not going to argue this wasn’t an over reaction or call a witness or anything?

      Lawyers: No, we’re pretty good with the it’s pretty simple argument.

    • professorperry - May 19, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      1. Crime is down in all categories across the country. That’s according to the FBI, fwiw (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/19/us/violent-crimes-declined-in-first-half-of-2013-fbi-says.html)

      2. Here’s a case of a woman who took a Tylenol and was beaten by the cops for it. This is just the case that happened to show up on my feeds today – http://jonathanturley.org/2014/05/19/ohio-woman-in-injured-when-police-throw-her-to-ground-pry-open-her-mouth-and-arrest-her-after-taking-tylenol/

      3. I write about this a lot and call it the cult of compliance. Police, security, even teachers respond to non-compliance with violence. It’s killed quite a few people and injured many more. Here’s another case. http://www.thismess.net/2014/05/cult-of-compliance-dearborn-michigan.html

      • sabatimus - May 20, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        All of which is irrelevant to trespassing.

  3. stlouis1baseball - May 19, 2014 at 2:06 PM

    It’s actually pretty simple CC. You want to deter these types of things…you make it as uncomfortable as you can for the alleged perpetrator. In the case…I would start with a knee to the back of the neck after tackling him face first into the ground. The knee would be required because you wouldn’t want to risk him becoming more “unruly” while handcuffing him. I would also be sure to put the cuffs on way too tight. I am talking “cut off all circulation” tight. Otherwise…all these jacklegs do is pay the fine and move on.

    • jm91rs - May 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      If your goal is to make a statement, hurting someone financially or by taking away his freedom should be enough. Tell some idiot protestor that the last guy got 2 years and a $20k fine and I bet he won’t go onto the field at all. Getting tackled and being in pain for about 15 minutes isn’t going to deter anyone. I guess while I don’t feel sorry for the guy, I don’t think violence should always be the first answer. It seemed to me that the security guard had been dying to tackle someone, and if you give me your hands I might hurt you by forcing them behind your back, but at least I’m not rolling on the ground with you hoping you don’t try something I can’t see coming.

  4. madhatternalice - May 19, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    For me, it’s not about being too “careful” or not. Making a choice to run out onto the field and delay the game simply because you:

    a) want exposure
    b) are drunk
    c) are an idiot

    gives me no sympathy. You don’t want to get the stuffing knocked out of you? Don’t run onto the field. It’s just that simple. There’s never an excuse to do this.

  5. earpaniac - May 19, 2014 at 2:29 PM

    Not all trespassing incidents. Just ones where you act like a dumba**.

  6. hockeyflow33 - May 19, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    I want this guy tasked and beat up because he’s being a douchebag not because he’s a security threat.

    Stop being a selfish as s and making it about yourself. There are 40k+ people there and countless more on tv to watch a baseball game.

  7. visnovsky - May 19, 2014 at 3:16 PM

    Wait I thought the agreed upon penalty by security and field crashers was a professional full body tackle. I don’t think tasers should be used. But, I thought it was fair for security to get to tackle someone for making them chase and/or secure them.

  8. ezthinking - May 19, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    Asking to be cuffed is admitting he knew he deserved rough handling. This was a tame take down all things considered.

    • daveitsgood - May 19, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      That’s a funny interpretation of it. You are saying that by giving yourself up and surrendering peaceably to the Authority figures means you know you will be and you deserve to be assaulted?

  9. chip56 - May 19, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Put it this way – how many of these a-holes have successfully sued a MLB team for using excessive force when taking them down? None. So yeah, there’s no problem with them getting slammed down for being idiots.

  10. stlouis1baseball - May 19, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    I can’t believe this moronic, jack legged “protestor” runs on the field and 98% of the posts are railing on the security force for being to rough. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. This dude should feel lucky he didn’t go to the hospital. I am ebarassed for you people.

    • jm91rs - May 19, 2014 at 4:44 PM

      It seems like Craig’s point was that not all trespassers on the field should be dealt with the same, and this is probably one of the few examples I’ve ever seen where I agree that it was some unnecessary force. I have no sympathy for the guy or his “cause”.
      I’ll continue to say there’s no way you’re safer tackling a guy than you are taking his arms and cuffing him if he’s giving them to you. I watched a friend get stabbed while rolling around on the ground with a shop lifter, we had to watch the replay a few times to even notice him pulling out the knife. You’re much better standing on your feet and watching every move the guy makes until his hands are behind his back.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 19, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        “I watched a friend get stabbed while rolling around on the ground with a shop lifter, we had to watch the replay a few times to even notice him pulling out the knife. You’re much better standing on your feet and watching every move the guy makes until his hands are behind his back.”
        Now…I am listening. Wonderful point JM. Although you root for the wrong team…I always consider you the voice of reason. While always looking past your Redlegs affiliation of course! Lol!

    • jimeejohnson - May 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      You know I’m one of your biggest supporters, but you are displaying a right wingers narrow mindedness in your advocating beating up trespassers.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 27, 2014 at 2:22 PM

        Jimme:
        I do know that and just for the record…I do NOT want to be lumped in with that group.
        I guess what I am trying to convey is…I feel we need to make it as uncomfortable as possible for these idiots. I don’t see it stopping any other way (or tactic) in which it is handled.

  11. texaspistoleer - May 19, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    Normally security is justified in a hard (and funny) takedown, because the numskull is running away. In this case, there didn’t appear to be a need — other than it being the highlight of the month for the security guard to be tough on TV. Just cuff him and lead him away quietly.

  12. tfbuckfutter - May 19, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    I think we can all agree the only solution to this ever-prevalent and increasingly dangerous practice by fans is to arm security with very sharp scimitars.

    Anyone who doesn’t think twice about running onto the field after witnessing a couple of beheadings probably deserves to be beheaded.

    #Protectthegame….ofthrones

  13. kalinedrive - May 20, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Follow the rules and you don’t have to worry about security using excesive force.

    it is pretty simple really do not break the law and you won’t have to worry about over reaction from security or the cops.

    These are the kind of arguments that people also use to justify warrantless surveillance, “random” stop-and-frisk, searching your car and person because you got stopped for speeding, and other violations of the law, common sense, privacy, and liberty. Hey, if you’re not doing anything wrong, why should you care if someone is watching you, going through your things, recording your conversations, etc.

    These are the kind of arguments that prove people don’t think about the ramifications of surrendering rights to some “benevolent” authority figure, as if they just refuse to believe that power is ever used inappropriately or corruptly, and these are the kind of people who dismiss injustices done to others because they aren’t directly affected. These are people who willingly hand over their rights to others assuming that they will be treated fairly, despite continuing instances of the abuse of power that are obvious to anyone who can actually consider that excessive force and illegal actions are committed by authority figures, frequently, and often with weak justification.

  14. sabatimus - May 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    I have no problem with the choke slam. Just because history indicates that no player has ever run onto the field and assaulted anyone doesn’t mean that it COULDN’T happen, and making the assumption that it couldn’t happen could result in a far more serious issue one of these days. People running onto the field have got to be shown that it’s not all fun and games. There needs to be a deterrent.

    My biggest issue is that security didn’t catch up with him while he was rounding the bases. Should’ve tackled him way before he hit home plate.

  15. drewsylvania - May 20, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    “Congrats: you just made an argument in favor of positioning snipers in the press box and having them shoot anyone who runs onto the field in the head.”

    Slippery slope much? I thought you were a lawyer. Aren’t your arguments supposed to be better than this?

    Unless you’re just stirring the pot, in which case you’re “merely” intellectually dishonest.

    • jimeejohnson - May 23, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      “I thought you were a lawyer. Aren’t your arguments supposed to be better than this?”

      Thanks for the laugh.

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