Piazza to press charges against fan who threw bottle

Updated: July 26, 2007, 11:44 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Piazza said he will press charges against a fan who allegedly threw a half-full water bottle at him during Wednesday afternoon's Oakland Athletics-Los Angeles Angels game, hitting the A's designated hitter in the back of the head.

"I'm pressing charges,'' Piazza told reporters. "He's going to spend the night in jail. He hit me right in the helmet. ... It's just inexcusable at a baseball game to throw a bottle at someone. Just a joke."

The incident happened as the Athletics were staging a three-run rally in the top of the ninth inning. Piazza was standing in the on-deck circle when he was hit from behind.

The game was interrupted as Piazza used his bat to point out the fan he thought was responsible.

"It startled the heck out of me, a thump to the back of my head,'' he told reporters. "I turned around and was like, 'Was it you? Or you or you?' Everyone pointed at the guy and I said, 'You're gutless,' and he started walking out. There he goes, the bravest guy in the world. That's a complete lower level of stupidity."

The suspect, identified as Ronald Flores, 22, of La Puente, was detained and later booked by Anaheim police on assault and battery charges.

After the incident, Piazza, who went 3-for-5 with a home run, hit a single as the A's tied the game 6-6 in the top of the ninth. The Angels responded with a run in the bottom of the ninth to win.