Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Report: Teen wanted dad's OK
ESPN.com news services
Before 17-year-old Steve Consalvi ran onto the field at Citizen's Bank Park on Monday, where he was Tasered by a police officer, the teenager reportedly called his father for permission to do so.
"He said, 'Dad, can I run on the field? I said, 'I don't think you should, son,'" Wayne Consalvi told the Philadelphia Inquirer of the conversation he had with his son.
"This would be a once in a lifetime experience!" Steve Consalvi replied to his father, according to the newspaper.
Wayne Consalvi told the newspaper that his son was not drinking and he wasn't on drugs. Steve Consalvi is "a real good student, heading to Penn State," his father told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The father also told the newspaper that his son didn't run onto the field as a result of a dare or bet, either.
"I don't recommend running on the field, but I don't think they should have Tased him at all," he told the newspaper.
The Phillies and Philadelphia police are investigating whether a police officer's use of a Taser to apprehend Steve Consalvi was an appropriate use of force.
Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, says Commissioner Charles Ramsey reviewed the tape and felt the officer had acted within the department's guidelines, which allow officers to use Tasers to arrest fleeing suspects. Vanore says internal affairs is still investigating.
Ramsey told KYW Radio in Philadelphia that he supported the officer's decision to use a Taser.
"It was inappropriate for him to be out there on the field," Ramsey said. "Unless I read something to the contrary, that officer acted appropriately. I support him 100 percent."
The department is reviewing whether its officers should be on the field wrangling fans who aren't threatening anyone, Vanore said.
"Should we be on the field at all? I think that's what's being looked at," Vanore said. "I'm not sure we should be chasing people around the field."
Vanore said it was the first time he knew of that a Philadelphia officer had used a Taser on a fan on the field.
Pat Courtney, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, said security issues are dealt with at the team level. He said he knew the Phillies were talking with police about the encounter and that MLB was monitoring the situation, but he declined further comment.
Mary Catherine Roper, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Philadelphia, said she didn't understand why the officer had to use a Taser.
"How long can he really run around out there?" Roper said of the fan. "In this situation, he's not dangerous, he's not getting away."
Consalvi, wearing a baseball cap, red T-shirt and khaki shorts, hopped a fence and scurried around the outfield, eluding two security officers in the bottom of the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals. One officer used a Taser and the fan went down in a heap. Several Phillies placed gloves over their faces and appeared to be stifling laughter at the wild scene.