New York Met outfielder Vince Coleman apparently will neither contest criminal charges that might be filed today by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, nor deny compensation to the family of a 2-year-old girl injured in an explosion Saturday at Dodger Stadium, The Times has learned.
Coleman, who allegedly threw an explosive device near a group of fans, will try to settle with the family of Amanda Santos, 2, who was injured by flying debris, a source close to Coleman's family said Thursday.
"It is his desire to settle all cases without going to court . . . (and) to fully compensate Amanda and the Santos family," the source said.
Wednesday, Darrell J. York, the attorney for the Santos family, had announced plans to sue Coleman, and possibly Dodger outfielder Eric Davis, and the Met and Dodger organizations, within the next month.
"If we are able to negotiate a settlement before that time, great," said York, who has been in contact with Bob Shapiro and Michael Nasatir, Coleman's attorneys. "I'm not going to close the doors on any offer."
York, though, said it is premature to discuss a settlement, or how it might affect Davis, the Mets, or the Dodgers.
Davis, Coleman and Met outfielder Bobby Bonilla rode away in Davis' vehicle after the explosion, which occurred near a chain-link fence that separates fans from the players' parking lot, behind the stadium's left-field pavilion.
Two other injured fans--Cindy Mayhew, 33, of Covina, and an 11-year-old boy, who has yet to be identified--also will be compensated, the source said.
"Only the people who immediately reported it," the source said.
Amanda suffered second-degree burns under her right eye, an injury to her right index finger and cuts on her cornea, York said.
She is being evaluated by several trauma specialists, he said.
York said he could better discuss a possible lawsuit after the district attorney's office decides whether to file criminal charges.
That decision is expected after the D.A.'s office receives a report from arson investigators, probably today, detailing the nature of the explosive device.
A felony charge would be prosecuted by the district attorney's office, a misdemeanor by the city attorney's office. A felony conviction could result in up to three years in prison.
"(Coleman) will not contest any criminal sanctions," the source said.
After Thursday's Met-Florida game in New York, which Coleman sat out, he made his first public statements since the incident.
"I want everyone to know that I now realize that my actions on July 24th were very inappropriate," he said. "Sincerely, it was never my intention to bring harm to anyone."
Coleman, 31, said he has been portrayed as an insensitive person, unconcerned with the welfare of the three injured fans.
"Nothing (could) be further from the truth," he said. "Since the incident occurred, I haven't slept, nor have I been able to think clearly about anything."
Coleman, who was accompanied by his wife and two children, said he is continuing efforts to reach the Santos family to offer condolences.
Lynette Coleman said her husband was a good father.
"He never intended to hurt anyone," she said.
Coleman did not respond to questions afterward.
Bud Selig, chairman of major league baseball's Executive Council, also apologized for the incident.
"Major league baseball is committed to ensuring that our ballparks and their environs are safe places for our fans, and that our clubhouses are safe places to work for both players, staff and members of the media," Selig said in a prepared statement.