Big League Stew - MLB

It wasn't the voltage but the amps this young Philllies fan felt on Monday night in Philadelphia.

In the eighth inning of a Phillies-Cardinals game, a 17-year-old male hopped a fence at Citizens Bank Park. He fled security for a few seconds until a Philadelphia police officer fired a Taser gun at the boy from about 15-feet away, dropping him on the spot in left-center field.

[Video: See the taser incident and judge for yourself.]

The Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to this young man's dad on Tuesday morning and reports that the kid actually called his father to ask for permission before running on the field. The dad told him it wasn't the best of ideas — you think? — but the future Penn State student went ahead and did it anyway. He's being charged as a juvenile for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and defiant trespass.

"He wasn't drinking. He was not on drugs," the father said.

The Philadelphia police commissioner, meanwhile, is publicly supporting the officer's actions. But the Phillies say they want to talk about whether or not such force is necessary for future trespassers. 

From the Associated Press:

Phillies spokeswomen Bonnie Clark said the police department is investigating the matter and discussing with the team whether using the stun gun was appropriate.

Police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore told The Philadelphia Inquirer police internal affairs will open an investigation to determine if the firing "was proper use of the equipment."

If they want my ruling, I'm calling it juuuuuust a bit excessive.

Then again, I've seen fans at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago attack Royals coach Tom Gamboa with a switchblade as he defended himself in the first-base coach's box. That would have been a great time for security to break out the Tasers. Heck — billy clubs, claw hammers ...

And there are gray areas — like what happened at Oakland in the stands last season.

But this doofus in Philly was running on the field, being a nuisance like 17-year-olds can be. Shane Victorino(notes) was never in danger. Nobody was.

This happens in every ballpark, sometimes many times a season, and security always gets the guy without having to tase him. (Until this particular officer got tired of running.)

And it would happen in Philly, where fans will never live down their mostly undeserved reputation for misbehavior.

Yes, sometimes we associate tasing with a little comedy. But Amnesty International keeps track of this stuff and says it can be deadly.

This kid was fine; after he regained the ability to walk, he did so under his own power as security took him into custody.

Do we want fans running onto the field? No matter how entertaining it seems at the moment, no, we don't. They don't belong out there.

But what we really don't want is security pulling out Tasers at a baseball game when it's not necessary.

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