Amnesty for fans who jump on the field and run around like maniacs at Oriole Park at Camden Yards appears to be over.
Like a Caped Crusader vanishing into the night, Mark Harvey - the guy who ran onto the field on Opening Day in a cape and Batman underwear - escaped criminal charges for his stunt due to a "miscommunication" by prosecutors. And while the State's Attorney's Office still had the ability to charge him after the fact, they opted not to while simultaneously vowing to prosecute others in the future.
So was it an empty threat? Not for Zachary Gregoricus, who ran out on the field during the 12th inning of last night's game against the Yankees and slid into second base. The 19-year-old college student and Waltham, Mass. native was charged with two counts of trespassing, disorderly conduct, and disturbing the peace, according to court records.
He also got chewed out by Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones, according to accounts from people at the game.
[Harvey, by the way, had to sit in lock-up for 13 hours and is banned for life from the stadium, according to the team]
Why's it important to charge? According to the Orioles and just about every other team, it's so people don't. do. it.
We're told there was also a meeting among prosecutors, police and Orioles staff to go over policies and make sure there is adequate signage warning field-jumpers about the consequences of running on the field, as if it's somehow unclear that that's frowned upon.
To that effect, the charging document against Gregoricus explains at length the warnings to would-be trespassers while noting that he caused a "modest delay of the game." His next court hearing is May 22.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun