SAN FRANCISCO — Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka, who suffered enough while watching his team flattened, 41-0, by the San Francisco 49ers, won't be grilled about allegedly bouncing a wad of gum off a fan at halftime, police said Tuesday.
"We have far worse things than that," said William Kidd, the investigating inspector who revealed that police are no longer interested in interviewing Ditka over possible battery charges connected with the Monday night postgame incident.
"We're waiting to get an indication from the victim if there's anything she wants to do," said Kidd, adding that Terry Ornelas of Napa told him she planned to contact her lawyer before making a decision.
An Associated Press picture shot at halftime shows Ditka following through on an energetic toss, the object a blur as it flies toward a group of fans. Ornelas said the gum hit her on the back of the head.
Policeman Richard Galliani said the gum "was found and booked as evidence . . . the officer who was there (George Pohley) told me it was a big wad of gum."
The fan was reported to be part of a crowd taunting Ditka as police escorted the coach off the Candlestick Park field Monday night.
"This is not exactly a top priority," commented Sgt. Jerry Senkir, spokesman for Police Chief Frank Jordan.
And after being pounded by the 49ers and accused by a fan, Ditka and his battered warriors were forced to remain in the Bay Area longer than planned when foul weather in Chicago closed O'Hare International Airport to morning flights Tuesday.