For Cubs Beer Tossing Fall Guy, The Scars Linger

By now everyone knows about Johnny Macchione, the 21-year-old who chucked a cup of beer at the Phillies’ Shane Victorino while the latter was catching a fly ball at Wrigley Field last week. After video replays identified Macchione as the culprit, he turned himself in to authorities rather than live a life on the run, moving from town to town to hide his shame. Macchione appeared on WGN Radio with Dave Kaplan recently to try and finally put this sad chapter Cubs history (is there any other kind, really?) to rest.

Dan DeLaPaz

But what of the poor schlub who was initially arrested by Cubs’ security in Macchione’s place? Dan DeLaPaz — who is the friend of Macchione’s cousin — also went on the record in an article by the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, saying that he was manhandled by security and never apologized to, even when they found out he wasn’t the culprit.

Poor dumb sap:

In an instant, Wrigley Field security guards grabbed DeLaPaz by his Cubs jersey, dragged him from his seat and muscled him up the bleachers while Phillies fans chucked food at him.

“They manhandled me. I asked them, ‘What are you doing? I didn’t do anything,’” DeLaPaz said. “I didn’t know what was going on. It was horrible. They treated me like I pulled out a shotgun or something.”

To make matters worse, DeLaPaz said, “everyone and their mother” nationwide saw him — not Macchione — get busted live on ESPN.

“My wife was getting calls from friends saying Dan’s on TV. She’s freaking out and crying, thinking I’m getting arrested,” DeLaPaz said. “It’s all humiliating.”

Of course the guy kind of made matters worse for himself by pointing and laughing when Victorino got drenched — instead of maybe, I don’t know, looking horrified, and trying to identify the real culprit.

Meanwhile, Macchione is all kinds of sorry, and says the hours following the incident were like what it must have been for John Wilkes Booth following the Lincoln assassination. That is, if Booth were mistaken for a fat guy in a Cubs jersey the next box over at Fords Theater. Said Maccinone:

“Not that I got away with it because security came flying past me and another came from the other side and grabbed Dan.  In the video, you can’t hear it but I’m kind of pointing at and trying to tell them, ‘It’s not him, it’s not him, it’s not him.’  I didn’t admit it myself but I tried saying ‘It wasn’t him, it wasn’t him.’ Some say I snuck out of that stadium, some say I returned back to my seat, but I was just with my friends and we went down to get him out of holding and then we left.

“My phone was going off, Facebook of course. I look on there and next thing you know I’ve got thousands and thousands of messages and all sorts of things going on. My friends calling me saying, “Oh my god, you’ve got to check this out.” Honestly, as the day went on, it just periodically got worse and worse and worse. Eventually it was just like, “I have to turn myself in. There’s no use trying to hide from this right now.

“Honestly, I was almost forced into making that statement. Not forced, I shouldn’t say, but situations arose and making that statement was my best option at the moment.”