DENVER (KDVR) — It does not appear any harm was intended, but security concerns were raised when fans rushed Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuña Jr. at Coors Field on Monday night.
Two men are accused of trespassing and disturbing the peace after approaching Acuña on the field, and one of them got his arms around the player, The Associated Press reported. A boy also was cited in the incident.
At Coors Field, there are security personnel at games and metal detection devices.
“Obviously, there was a breach in security that was allowed to happen. I don’t know if they are short-handed,” said James Allbee, a former law enforcement officer and safety expert.
“Those walls are pretty low and pretty easy to jump over, so there is going to be an inherent risk there,” he said.
In recent years, MLB has extended the netting to protect fans from foul balls in some areas. Allbee wondered if the netting or some sort of fencing should be extended further.
Is game security a bigger issue?
“There’s only a handful of vulnerable areas, and to call them vulnerable I feel is almost a little unfair,” said Brandon Krisztal, a sports reporter with FOX31’s partners at KOA Radio.
Krisztal said he sees a lot of security when he covers games.
“There’s always security in the bullpen,” he said. But he said an incident like this will always raise concern.
“It does obviously bring back flashbacks of Monica Seles being stabbed at a tennis match, or the first base coach for the White Sox being assaulted by fans in the middle of a game, and so I think that raises everyone’s concern. But I don’t think this is a widespread epidemic across sports,” Krisztal said.
This is at least the third time this season that a fan has rushed the field at Coors Field.
“It’s a shame it keeps happening,” said Dr. Kelly Evans, a sports management assistant professor at Metro State University of Denver. She is also a former general manager for a collegiate summer league team.
“I think that the Colorado Rockies did well in reacting to it and following their policies and procedures, because there’s only so much you can do,” Evans said.