|CHICAGO -- A Chicago Cubs fan arrested in last week's brawl
with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field filed a lawsuit
Thursday against Dodgers' players and both teams, claiming that he
sustained neck and shoulder strains.
Ronald Camacho, a 32-year-old construction supervisor, was one
of three men arrested on disorderly conduct charges following the
May 16 melee that was sparked when a fan allegedly struck Dodgers
catcher Chad Kreuter in the back of his head and snatched his cap
as Kreuter sat in the bullpen.
Camacho said Kreuter choked him while other Dodgers struck him.
Camacho said he was then carted off by security guards, held for
three hours at the park and turned over to police. He noted that no
criminal charges were filed against the Dodgers.
The suit, filed late Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court,
names all 19 suspended Dodgers players and coaches. It also accuses
the Cubs organization of failing to provide adequate security, of
falsely imprisoning Camacho and of failing to provide him with
"It is unprecedented for major league baseball players to go
into the stands of a baseball park, acting in concert and with the
intent to injure spectators," the suit said. The players "acted
as if they were common thugs and goons."
Camacho's lawyer, Karen Conti, said her client is seeking
damages in excess of $50,000 and a public apology from the Dodgers.
"We really believe a settlement is in the best interest of both
parties," Conti said. "We tried very hard to settle this case
with the Cubs and Dodgers. I'm very excited about trying this case,
especially in Cook County, where the Cubs are adored."
The Dodgers said they would have no comment on pending
litigation. Calls made to the Cubs were not immediately returned.
The Cubs have sent a letter to season ticket holders announcing
that beer sales at Wrigley will be curtailed and security increased
in response to the fight.
Beer vendors reduced
One day after the Dodgers were punished for their involvement in the May 16 Wrigley Field fracas, Cubs fans received their sentence. The team annouced that the number of beer vendors at Wrigley Field will be reduced by 10 percent and their inventory will be cut by 50 percent on their last trip into the stands. Beer sales will be cut off a half-inning earlier, from the first pitch of the top of the seventh to the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth.
An undisclosed number of security personnel will be added. The lower box seats will be protected more aggressively from fans "sneaking down" from other seats. Ticket-holders will be asked to show their stubs more frequently and season ticket-holders will be held accountable for the behavior of those using their seats.
Mark McGuire, the Cubs' executive vice president for business affairs, said it was unclear what role alcohol played in the incident, during which Dodgers players sparred with unruly fans.
-- ESPN.com news services
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