Fox 29 in Philadelphia reports that the Tasering of a teenage Phillies fan who ran onto the field at Citizens Bank Park Monday night is being investigated by local police.
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The unnamed 17-year-old teen, who was seen being Tasered by a police officer in the outfield during the Phillies-Cardinals game, has been officially charged with criminal trespassing.
The initial reaction of Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams was that the responding officer didn’t do anything wrong:
“I think the police officer had to do what they think is in the moment, they’re chasing this guy he won’t stop. They didn’t use deadly force, he didn’t pull out his weapon and shoot him and he used the tasers.”
Philadelphia police Lt. Frank Vanore also told Fox 29 that the department’s Internal Affairs Bureau will soon determine if the method of subduing the fan with a Taser was “proper use of the equipment.”
While I’m not from Philadelphia and don’t have any special knowledge or insight into the situation, I’m guessing that 99% of the crowd at Citizens Bank Park thought that the cop didn’t go far enough to deter fans from invading the field in the future.
That said, I’m sure the Phils faithful found last night’s extracurriculars entertaining.
UPDATE (11:30a ET): Peter Mucha of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER reports the father of the 17-year-old who ran on the field said his son called to ask him if it was okay:
“He wasn’t drinking. He was not on drugs,” said the father of the teen Tasered by police in the outfield at Citizens Bank Park last night.
Steve Consalvi, 17, is a senior at Boyertown High and “a real good student, heading to Penn State,” according to his father, Wayne, 45, who owns Consalvi Auto Repair in Pottstown.
Steve even called from the park last night, asking for permission to run on the field, as the Phillies hosted the St. Louis Cardinals, the elder Consalvi said.
“He said, ‘Dad, can I run on the field? I said, ‘I don’t think you should, son.’ “
“This would be a once in a lifetime experience!” the son said.
There wasn’t any dare or a bet, involving the friends the teen was with.
Fearing the worst, the father called a buddy, Lou Caparoni, also at the game.
“Stevie’s going to run on the field! You gotta stop him!” Wayne Consalvi recalled.
He knew his buddy, seated in another part of Citizens Bank Park, probably couldn’t help.
This morning, Steve wasn’t in school, he was in front of a judge, the father said.“He’s down there with his mother.”
The parents are divorced, and Steve basically lives with her in Gilbertsville.
“She’s a good mother,” said Wayne, who lives in Upper Pottsgrove.
“I don’t recommend running on the field, but I don’t think they should have Tased him at all,” he said.
“You can’t condone this kind of behavior,” he added, but he explained he wasn’t angry, because it was “teenagers having fun.”
With that background, it’s hard to get mad at the kid - if what Dad is saying is true. But I don’t think this sort of reportage is such a good idea as it somewhat glorifies what happened. At least immediately after the fact.
For that reason, I can’t imagine the police and the Phillies will prevent Tasers for similar circumstances in the future.