A 25-year-old man is struggling for his life at a local hospital after an altercation involving patrons during a ball game at Oriole Park last week ("Taunting at O's game ends in intensive care," June 1).

This situation could have been averted if fans nearby, or the victim himself, Matt Fortese, had approached an usher or an Orioles employee when the situation grew dicey.

The ushers and other ball park employees are there so fans have the best possible experience while attending the game. While I feel for Mr. Fortese, things very well could have turned out differently if he had notified authorities at the outset of the incident.

The lesson to be learned is that fans at the ballpark should never attempt to settle a possibly combustible situation by themselves. I can't believe an usher was not made aware of what was happening when the fracas broke out.

I am certain that others witnessed this heinous display of fan behavior. And yet no authorities were contacted. It dismays me that this type incident occurred at the ball park.

Fans should alert the ushers and Orioles employees if they see something that seems wrong or illegal. It's what they are there for.

Patrick R. Lynch, Nottingham