Fans Rushing The Field Become Growing Concern At Camden Yards
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Security scares at Camden Yards. Out-of-control fans are dashing on the field during the middle of Orioles games. Now security experts and players are sounding the alarm.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the risks.
There are signs all over Camden Yards warning people not to jump on the field. But four people just this season have done it anyway.
A shirtless fan slid into home at Camden Yards on Friday night. Moments later, he’s leveled by an umpire.
Christopher Fatkin, 20, now faces multiple charges. He’s the fourth person this season to jump the fence, including the guy dressed as Batman on Opening Day.
“I enjoyed it. The crowd was going crazy,” Mark Harvey told WJZ.
But security experts warn this is no joke.
“The reality is, it’s really a serious personal safety issue. We’ve seen situations on the red carpet or in sporting venues themselves where the athletes are at risk,” said Rob Weinhold, Fallston Group.
Outfielder Adam Jones has gotten up close and personal with these field crashers and sounds off to WJZ’s media partner the Baltimore Sun.
“I’d advocate that people get tased. I’d enjoy that. You don’t run on the field and just disturb a game that’s going on. It’s private property, and I’m sick and tired,” Jones told the Sun.
Former O’s player Larry Sheets says this may be a product of the team playing so well.
“Last year we’re wondering where the fans are. And so they’re a little bit spirited and obviously they don’t want them doing that,” Sheets said.
Recent field crashers have been charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace.
But experts say a better punishment may be banishment from the ballpark.
“If you take a sports fan and disallow them to cheer for their sports team in person I think that’s much more of a deterrent than a simple trespassing charge,” Weinhold said.
That fan dressed as Batman has been banned for life from Camden Yards.
In addition to the fan tackled by the umpire, Baltimore police say 48 other fans were ejected from Friday’s game.