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Charges expected to be filed in firecracker incident


The Los Angeles district attorney's office said late yesterday that it expected to make a formal criminal charge as a result of Saturday's firecracker incident outside Dodger Stadium.

New York Mets outfielder Vince Coleman has been identified by another player as the person who threw a lighted firecracker from a vehicle, an action that apparently resulted in injuries to at least three persons.

The district attorney met with officials of the Los Angeles Fire Department's arson unit yesterday, which has been investigating the incident. A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office said a decision had not yet been made on whether to press a misdemeanor or felony charge.

An announcement on a charge could come as soon as today. A person in the Los Angeles city attorney's office said yesterday that he expected a misdemeanor charge to be filed.

Eric Davis, the left fielder for the Dodgers, said Coleman had tossed the firecracker from his jeep as the players left a parking lot after Saturday afternoon's game. Three people, including a 1-year-old girl, were subsequently treated at local hospitals for injuries apparently related to the firecracker explosion.

Maria Pollerana, an official with the district attorney's office, said the decision to pursue a formal charge had been made after a review of the evidence presented by the fire department.

"It's just as to whether it will be a misdemeanor or a felony," Pollerana said. "I'm not able to say."

Pollerana said the uncertainty resulted from the issue of determining Coleman's intent. A felony charge requires intent to inflict bodily harm, and a conviction usually carries a jail term of at least 16 months.

Davis, who owns the jeep and was driving Coleman and Bobby Bonilla to a barbecue at Davis' house, said Sunday that Coleman had tossed the firecracker without the intent of injuring anyone.

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