Stricter Security, Pat-Downs Of Fans To Take Effect At NFL Games

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Mary Bubala joined WJZ in December 2003. She now anchors the 4-4:30...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Stepped-up security. You’ll notice the big changes next time you go to a Ravens game.

Mary Bubala explains the stricter security and the reason for the change.

The NFL wants all teams to search fans from top to bottom following an incident at Sunday night’s game at the Meadowlands.

Under new, “enhanced” pat-down procedures, fans at stadiums across the country, including M&T Bank Stadium, will be searched from the ankles to the knees, as well as the waist up.

Before this change, security screened fans from the waist up while looking for alcohol, weapons or other banned items.

On Sunday night, despite added security at the Jets vs. Cowboys game because of the anniversary of Sept. 11, a fan brought a stun gun into the stadium.

An amateur video– shot by a fan and picked up on YouTube– shows the fan, Leroy McKelvey, 59, using the stun gun after a fight breaks out in the stands. Several people were injured.

“I heard a Taser before I saw a Taser, I am not going to lie. I heard the zzzz noise,” a witness explained.

Police arrested McKelvey and charged him with aggravated assault and weapons charges.

Now, the NFL is warning fans to arrive at stadiums early because the new pat-downs will take longer. We won’t see them at M&T Bank Stadium until next month, when the Ravens take on the Jets Sunday, Oct. 2.

Pat-downs at NFL stadiums have been controversial since they started more than seven years ago. Several fans have filed lawsuits, challenging the screenings but NFL policies were upheld in court.

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