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Fan Is Charged in Bat Incident

October 05, 2006|Rebecca Trounson | Times Staff Writer

A Santa Monica man who allegedly tossed a souvenir bat from an upper deck at Dodger Stadium during a recent game has been charged with a misdemeanor and could face jail time, authorities said Wednesday.

Rudy Caraves, 23, has been charged with one count of illegal activity at a sporting event. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to six months in jail and fined $1,000, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office.

Caraves declined to comment. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday at the Hollywood courthouse.

Mateljan said Caraves was removed from the stands toward the end of the Dodgers' Sept. 19 game against the Pittsburgh Pirates after Los Angeles Police Department officers working security at the stadium saw him throw a wooden novelty bat toward the field.

Officials said the bat -- a pink, 18-inch souvenir with a Dodger logo -- landed five levels below, a few feet from someone sitting in the front row.

"Fortunately, it didn't hit him. But, falling from that height, it certainly had the potential to injure someone," Mateljan said.

The incident occurred about 9:45 p.m., and Mateljan speculated that the Dodgers were having a tough time on the field then -- they trailed most of the game and eventually lost to the Pirates, 10-6.

"But that's never an excuse," he said.

In addition to the criminal penalties Caraves may face, prosecutors will ask that, if he is convicted, the judge order him to stay away from Dodger Stadium for two years.

With the team now in the playoffs, City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo asked its supporters to show restraint.

"I urge all Los Angeles sports fans to act responsibly when attending games," he said in a statement. "People engaging in unsafe or unruly activity during a Los Angeles sporting event will face serious consequences."

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