Laser beams were meant only for attachments on the top of sharks heads… or something like that. Just ask Dr. Evil. (Austin Powers reference, anyone?)
Point is, laser pointers were not meant for public arenas, including baseball games. What started as a rude and disruptive prank quickly turned sour for some boys in St. Louis at Busch Stadium on Monday evening when Cards manager Mike Matheny played investigator from the dugout.
Although the laser was first spotted by Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday and umpire Marvin Hudson after the beam of light was pointed at Giants pitcher Shane Loux, delaying the entire 7th inning, it was Matheny who followed the strange green beam, eventually spotting the source from a teenage boy inside a suite along the first base line. According to reports, the boy was laughing but Matheny most definitely was not, mouthing the words, "I see you," to the boy.
As the teen kept laughing and pointing the laser at Matheny's head in response, it wasn't much time later when security approached the suite to find not only multiple teens fleeing, but unauthorized liquor and one adult who was "uncooperative" and "confrontational."
After officers saw one of the boys throw the laser pointer in a nearby trash can and Matheny identified the teen that he spotted from the dugout, the kid was identified as a 17-year-old from Creve Coeur, Mo. (good luck pronouncing that) and was booked on suspicion of peace disturbance at an athletic event. He was released after posting $150 bail according to the St.Louis Post-Dispatch. Sounds like this suburban kid got off easy.
As for the adult, well, he could face further repercussions considering the suite belonged to St. Louis-based Mercy Health systems, in which he is an executive.
Joe Walsh is the director of security and special services for the Cardinals. He stated, "We had young kids acting stupid, but we had adults acting even more boorish…They were interfering with what we were doing to stop the problem." I'm no Einstein, but being caught in your company's suite with a bunch of teenagers and unauthorized liquor doesn't sound like a fun ticket to me.
Walsh also spoke about how it is impossible to tell a difference between a laser coming from a harmless pointer or one from a firearm, therefore all disturbances as such must be taken seriously. Not to mention, who wants a laser in their eye while facing a 90-mph slider? Not me.
The Cardinals had a similar disturbance at a Phillies game in 2009. There was also a laser pointer incident at Shea Stadium between the Mets and Braves in 2007.
It should also be noted that two Colorado football players have been suspended, one of them released from the team completely, after they were held at gunpoint by police for shooting Airsoft guns at eachother while driving down a road in Boulder, CO. on Saturday.
Kids of all-ages, if you take anything from this article, please adhere to this: whether it's fake or not, if it looks as if it could resemble a weapon, don't play.
Whether it be 'popo' or Mike Matheny, they'll get ya.
Josh Helmuth is the sports editor and lead baseball writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JHelmuth or subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
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