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Fan May Face Jail for Going on Field

Man who disrupted Dodger game will probably be charged with trespassing.

May 23, 2003|Jason Reid | Times Staff Writer

A Panorama City man who ran onto the field Wednesday at Dodger Stadium could face up to six months in jail, a spokesman for the city attorney's office said Thursday.

Oscar Villanueva, 26, is expected to be charged with trespassing after entering the outfield in the ninth inning of the Dodgers' 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Villanueva, punched and thrown to the ground by Dodger center fielder Jason Romano before being subdued by stadium security personnel, was booked at Parker Center and released, Los Angeles Police Officer Grace Brady said.

Attempts to contact Villanueva were unsuccessful.

"He was coming into our house," Romano said. "That's our territory and we've got to protect it."

Villanueva, who also could be fined $1,000, entered from the seats in the left-field corner and sprinted toward left fielder Brian Jordan. Romano intercepted Villanueva and earned Jordan's appreciation.

"I told Jason he's my bodyguard now," Jordan said, smiling. "He was protecting me and I definitely appreciate it. The guy was just running on the field to shake my hand, I could read him because I was closer, but you have to be careful in those situations.

"As he was running at me, I was thinking, 'Should I crush this guy?' Then as he was getting close, I could see he didn't mean any harm. But from Jason's point of view, he could have been attacking me."

Players throughout Major League Baseball have been on alert because of two incidents of fan violence the last two seasons in Chicago during White Sox games.

"To be honest about it, I thought what Jason did was great, especially with what's happened the last two years," catcher Paul Lo Duca said. "A guy could have a gun or knife, and if they're just drunk or their buddies are daring them to go out there, it's stupid and they have to be ready for whatever happens to them."

Said Dodger pitcher Odalis Perez: "They're going to get hurt by the players and go to jail. So nothing good is going to happen."

Although the Dodgers are considered to have one of the best security staffs in baseball, they acknowledge they can't prevent every individual act.

"Short of people just not doing it, it's a fact that you have to deal with it," said Doug Duennes, vice president of stadium operations. "Our guys do a good job with it once it does occur."

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