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Thursday, April 17
Updated: April 23, 6:00 PM ET
Assailant facing felony and misdemeanor charges

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- A judge set bond at $250,000 on Thursday for a man who attacked an umpire during a Chicago White Sox game.

Eric Dybas of Bolingbrook was charged with one count of felony aggravated battery and one count of misdemeanor criminal trespass. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

The 24-year-old Dybas came out of the stands and grabbed umpire Laz Diaz around the legs during Tuesday night's game between the White Sox and Kansas City Royals.

Dybas was the fourth fan to run onto the field that night. The other three did not attack anyone and were charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

Dybas appeared in court Thursday with his lawyer. Cook County Judge Nicholas Ford called Dybas' actions disturbing and said nobody should be subjected to violent acts at a ballpark. Police have not disclosed a motive for Dybas.

"That place was filled with people. Anything could have happened," Ford said. "Somebody has to say no to this conduct, and it's going to be me."

Defense attorney Frank Kostouros said his client has an alcohol problem and his behavior was a result of that. The lawyer also said Dybas is sorry for what he did.

"This was a regrettable, alcohol-motivated stunt," Kostouros said.

Outside court, Kostouros called the bond "oppressive." He said Dybas has been unemployed since December and is dealing with his mother's breast cancer.

"He knows he made a stupid mistake. He does feel very bad about what happened," Kostouros said. "To make an example out of him would not be justice."

Last September, Kansas City coach Tom Gamboa was pummeled by a father and son just yards from where Tuesday's attack took place.

The White Sox have since beefed up security and the baseball commissioner's office said everything possible will be done to eliminate fan violence.

Diaz, a burly 40-year-old umpire who served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, was running from his position toward right field to watch a fly ball get caught to end the eighth inning. Dybas ran toward Diaz and tried to tackle him, wrapping his arms around his legs. Security personnel and players rushed to help Diaz, who was not hurt.

Dybas needed treatment for minor injuries at a hospital after being thrown to the ground and roughed up by players.

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