|Tuesday, April 15
Updated: April 16, 8:36 AM ET
Fans interrupted Mets-Expos game with protest
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Two fans who ran onto the field and held up an antiwar banner at a game between the Montreal Expos and New York Mets will be banned from games in Puerto Rico this month, police said Tuesday.
The two men jumped from the stands after a two-run homer by the Mets' Tony Clark in the fifth inning Monday. They unfurled a banner that read: "No a la guerra" ("No to the war") with a drawing of a machine gun and oil well.
San Juan police Col. Adalberto Mercado said Hugo Delgado Marti and Jose Ramos Rivera won't be allowed into Hiram Bithorn Stadium for the rest of the Expos' games this month. Montreal's 10-game "homestand" in Puerto Rico concludes Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds.
"At least for this series, they can't come back," Mercado said.
He said Marti and Rivera are to appear in court April 28 to face charges of "unsportsmanlike conduct," which is a misdemeanor under city law in San Juan athletic facilities.
Those charges carry a possible sentence of up to six months in jail and/or a $500 fine, Mercado said.
A lawyer representing the two men, Javier Santiago Santos, said he didn't know of anyone else who had been prosecuted under the city law. He said he didn't think the two had been involved in similar acts previously.
It took about one minute before security guards started approaching the fans. Some have criticized the slow response.
"Our people did a dress rehearsal with the police today so that any event is handled better," said Kevin Hallinan, senior vice president for security in the commissioner's office. "I think that got us where we need to be."