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Prosecutors could still charge Opening Day Batman, say they won't

Justice SystemOriole Park at Camden Yards

Despite releasing him from jail, city prosecutors still have the ability to file charges against the Severn man who interrupted the Orioles Opening Day game - but say they won't.

I couldn't help but notice that at the stadium at last night's game, the lower scoreboard flashed reminders that trespassers will be "arrested and incarcerated," but didn't mention charges. It seems accurate in light of the state's attorney's office's decision-making here.

In today's paper, we detailed how the Orioles were upset that Mark Harvey - the guy who ran around in a cape and Batman underwear - wasn't charged for his stunt. Prosecutors called it a one-time miscommunication error "that we will not make again."

But city prosecutors acknowledged today that they are not prohibited from filing charges against Harvey. 

"We have the option of charging this individual, but the decision has been made not to do so," said Mark Cheshire, a spokesman for State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein. "Instead we're going to move forward with the intent to prosecute any future violators who trespass on the field at Oriole Park at Camden Yards."

Cheshire has not elaborated on why they were choosing not to charge in spite of a vow to charge trespassers. 

I've also sought comment from the Orioles, who said they expect that violators will get prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law."

As noted in today's story, violators are prosecuted in other stadiums, typically receiving probation and community service. The Orioles, for their part, have said Harvey will be banned from the stadium for life, though it remains unclear how teams enforce such bans. He also had to spend some 13 hours in Central Booking. It's possible that prosecutors view the situation as "abated by arrest," but that would appear to conflict with their vow to prosecute all others.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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