Phillies revise security policy

Updated: May 8, 2010, 1:05 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies team security will apprehend fans who jump on the field, unless more force is deemed necessary, the team announced Wednesday, two days after police used a Taser on a teenager dashing through the outfield.

The team said it made the decision in consultation with the Philadelphia Police Department after an officer used his stun gun Monday night on a 17-year-old at Citizens Bank Park.

"In ordinary circumstances involving field intrusion, the Phillies game day security personnel will make the apprehension of the field jumper and turn him over to the Philadelphia Police on the field for handcuffing and subsequent charging," the team said in a statement.

Police officers will be called upon, the team said, only if more force is necessary.

Steven Consalvi, of Gilbertsville, jumped onto the field at the top of the eighth inning of Monday's game between the Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals and ran around in circles in the outfield, waving a white towel and dodging two security officers.

A city police officer chased him for about 30 seconds before his stun gun probe hit Consalvi, who stumbled forward, slid face-first on the grass and stayed down for about 30 seconds before standing up and walking off the field.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey examined video of the arrest and determined that the officer acted within department guidelines, which allow officers to use Tasers on fleeing suspects.

Consalvi is charged with defiant trespass, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. His lawyer said in a statement Wednesday that the young man was apologizing for his "foolish act" and had learned a lesson.

"Steve and his family wish to apologize to all Philadelphia Phillies fans, the entire Philadelphia Phillies organization, players, staff and security, as well as the Philadelphia Police Department for what occurred that evening," attorney Steven F. O'Meara said in a statement.

"His family hopes and prays that people will understand that teenagers do impulsive things," O'Meara said. "This young man has never been in trouble before and has learned a valuable lesson."

Consalvi's mother declined to comment when a reporter visited her home in Gilbertsville, northwest of Philadelphia.

On Tuesday night, a 34-year-old man ran on the field during the Phillies next game, also against the Cardinals. The crowd booed him and some chanted "Tase him!"

The man, Thomas Betz, of Warminster, Pa., was arrested and taken off the field without incident by team security personnel. He faces charges of marijuana possession, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and other counts. After he was released Wednesday night, Betz said he wanted to apologize to the Phillies as well as to friends and family.

"I just wanted to go out there and basically prove that, at least in my case, you don't need to Tase anybody or do anything like that to subdue a fan who would be in the position I was in," Betz, still wearing his red Phillies jersey, told reporters as he left a police station in South Philadelphia.

Gov. Ed Rendell and others questioned whether police officers should be using Tasers on unruly fans on the field, but numerous players and fans defended the officers actions, saying they were appropriate.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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