The rivalry between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers has prompted lots of fun, but also some unwanted behavior through the years by both groups of fans. Perhaps the most extreme example was the Bryan Stow beating at a Dodger Stadium parking lot.
What happened at AT&T Park on Wednesday night wasn't as damaging, yet it's still senseless and reflects badly on the baseball community at large. At least five people were injured after a fan threw a firework from the outfield bleachers onto a walkway near a beer concession stand about 9:30 p.m. local time. The explosion was so loud and produced enough smoke that umpires stopped the game between the Giants and Dodgers for a few moments.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported the incident first:
Witnesses said a man sitting in the outfield bleachers, wearing a Giants hat and orange jacket, threw a large firecracker that looked like an M-80 into a group of people standing in the pedestrian concourse near the Coors Light concession stand, police said.
"A number of people were screaming and running from the area," said Officer Gordon Shyy, a San Francisco police spokesman.
At least five people reported minor injuries, including dizziness and temporary loss of hearing, Shyy said. Nobody was seriously hurt, he said.
The man arrested was a 21-year-old resident of San Bruno, Calif. named Paolo Alessio Pavone. He was booked on suspicion of willful and malicious explosion of a destructive device, reckless or malicious possession of a destructive device and throwing or discharging a firework in a public place, Shyy said.
Like the Stow beating, it's a coincidence that we're talking about "Giants fans" and "Dodgers fans." The violence happened to occur at a ballpark, and it was done by a person or persons wearing local team colors. That's all baseball really has to do with it. Still, fans do and should feel violated when it happens at a game — where they should feel safe. Unfortunately, Giants-Dodgers games have a way of bringing out the worst in some people. It's too bad it happens anywhere, but especially so when sports is involved. That's not what they're supposed to be for.
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