NEW YORK -- A New York Mets fan pleaded not guilty Sunday to
shining a high-powered flashlight at an Atlanta Braves pitcher and
shortstop during a game at Shea Stadium.
Frank Martinez was arraigned in Queens criminal court on charges
of interfering with a professional sporting event and second-degree
reckless endangerment. He was held on $1,000 bail and is due back
in court May 1.
Authorities said the 40-year-old Martinez flashed the light at
the players in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday from his seat
behind home plate. He quickly was ejected from the game.
"The defendant's alleged actions recklessly endangered the
lives of players and spectators and caused a temporary delay to the
game," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The Braves were leading the Mets 7-0 at the time of the
incident. Tim Hudson was on the mound facing Mets pinch hitter Endy Chavez when, investigators said, Martinez turned the beam on the
Braves pitcher and shortstop Edgar Renteria.
Renteria complained to umpire Paul Emmel, who called timeout
and alerted security. The security officers removed Martinez and
found "a small, streamline flashlight" in his backpack, Brown
Martinez is being represented by the Legal Aid Society. Legal
Aid spokeswoman Pat Bath said his attorney did not want to comment.
If convicted, Martinez faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000
The Braves won Friday's game 7-3.