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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MLB: Police stand behind Philadelphia officer who Tasered fan

Associated Press Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

A law enforcement officer chases down a fan that ran onto the field before the eighth inning of a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals.

MATT SLOCUM | Associated Press

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PHILADELPHIA A police officer who used a Taser to subdue a teenage fan who ran onto the field during a Phillies game appears to have acted appropriately, but the department is reviewing whether officers should be on the field at all in such situations, a police spokesman said Tuesday.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey reviewed video of the arrest and felt the officer acted within department guidelines, which allow officers to use Tasers to arrest fleeing suspects, said the spokesman, Lt. Frank Vanore. The department's internal affairs unit is investigating, Vanore said.

The teen leapt onto the field at the top of the eighth inning during Monday night's game against St. Louis. He ran around in circles in the outfield, waving a white towel, for about 30 seconds and dodged two security officers before the officer subdued him.

"From the preliminary look at it, it appears that the officer was within the policy," said Vanore, adding that he did not know what may have transpired before the video started. "He was attempting to make an arrest and the male was attempting to flee."

Police said the teen is charged with defiant trespass, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. His name was not being released because of his age.

The department is reviewing whether its officers should be on the field wrangling fans who aren't threatening anyone, Vanore said.

"Should we be on the field at all? I think that's what's being looked at," Vanore said. "I'm not sure we should be chasing people around the field."

Vanore said it was the first time he knew of that a Philadelphia officer had used a Taser on a fan on the field.

A Phillies spokeswoman said the police department was investigating and discussing with the team whether using the stun gun was appropriate. A message left Tuesday with a Major League Baseball spokesman was not immediately returned.