Assemblyman Wants to Ban Violent Fans from Sporting Events
|Fighting fans is a sport in itself|
A SoCal lawmaker is essentially asking for a statewide restraining order on violent sports fans, barring them from events so that the rest of us can watch our teams play without worrying about getting killed.
Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) is drafting legislation that would create a "Ban List" of unwanted fans, similar to a "no Fly List" for terrorists. Those fans who end up on the list would have their names and photos published in the Internet, which would also be circulated to all sports venues, police departments, and event ticketing office throughout the state.
The California's Attorney General's Office will maintain the list of miscreants, and those caught attending a sporting event could be sentenced to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine. "Everybody who is at these ballparks are sports fans," Gatto told the Sacramento Bee. "So to take away what they love, to say, 'You can't attend a game anymore,' that's a real penalty to them." Gatto says he was inspired to treat sporting hooligans like the hooligans they are after the tragic beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow.
As readers recall, Stow, a Santa Cruz resident, had traveled down to Los Angeles to watch the opener game between the Dodgers and the Giants last year when he was heckled and eventually beaten into a coma. Being the loyal fan he is, Stow was donning Giants garb, which only made him a target of violent Dodger fans during the game. As Stow walked to the parking lot after the game, he was attacked and brutally beaten outside Dodger Stadium, which left him in a coma for more than six months. Louie Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30, were arrested and charged with beating Stow.
Under Assembly Bill 2464, a judge could place violent offenders could be placed on the ban list for up to five years on their first conviction, and 10 years for a second conviction. It would only target those fans who have been convicted of serious offenses, including assault with a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury.
"Violence is something that has made a lot of parents be a little afraid to take their kids to the ball games, so I think we need to step in and do something," Gatto added.