Sportress of Blogitude

Authorities Should Have Just Invoked The Outfield Taser Rule

Yeah, the outfield taser rule. It’s kind of like the infield fly rule, but different and not real and just something I made up so I didn’t have to go with a variation of a “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” headline. I think overall, it was a job…done.

Sure, the masterful job performed with the above headline was not as cold-bloodedly efficient as tasering the yahoo who probably regrets  jumping down to field level and running around the outfield at Citizens Bank Park last night. But it’ll do. It’ll do.

The Philadelphia Inquirer sets the scene:

With 44,817 fans watching in the stands Monday night, the teenage male, wearing a black baseball cap, red T-shirt, and khaki shorts, ran on to the field during the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals.

“This is the first time that a Taser gun has been used by Philadelphia police to apprehend a field jumper,” Phillies spokeswoman Bonnie Clark said in a statement. “The Police Department is investigating this matter and the Phillies are discussing with them whether in future situations this is an appropriate use of force under these circumstances. That decision will be made public.”

The fan made several loops in center field with security personnel and the police officer in pursuit. The officer appeared to fire several times before hitting the man. The man fell to the ground. He was then helped off the field.

Additional photos of the taseree can be found here and the taserific video after the jump.

Boy, that kid dropped like a bag of dirt. But was it necessary to tase him?

Philadelphia residents and bloggers extraordinaire at The700Level tackled and ultimately subdued that very issue (without the need of tasering it, incidentally):

What do you think? Is it over the line for the police to use more than a tackle on a fan who has not exhibited any acts of violence, but who is causing a major disturbance and evading capture? Or do all threats need to be taken seriously and halted as soon as possible?

With the attention drawn by incidents like the fan vomiting on another group of fans last month, there is added pressure on the security forces as well. Whenever negative fan behavior makes the news, there are folks who say that security needs to be tighter, react faster, and crack down on the behavior that leads to fans getting out of hand.

I am sure that will be the debate of the day around the interwebs, on ESPN panel discussion shows and during the tea party you have scheduled at 1:30 today with your stuffed animals. A police spokesperson has already stated that internal affairs will be looking into whether this was an acceptable use of force and I am sure some vanilla finding will be rendered by IA that says while it should not be considered acceptable as a general practice, some situations do unfortunately warrant a sound tasering.

I guess what I’m getting at is I wouldn’t advise anyone to try and pull the same stunt at Citizens Bank Park any time soon.

Fan on Phils’ field subdued with Taser [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
New Video: Fan Tasered for Running Onto Field at Citizens Bank Park [The700Level]