Chief Investigative Reporter Tony Kovaleski reports on fan violence at Bay Area sporting venues. Following a fight in Oakland, San Francisco takes innovative steps to curtail violence at AT&T Park. This video was posted on 6/27/2012 at 3:30 p.m.
The Giants are expecting another sellout crowd at AT&T on Monday night, less than 24 hours after yet another example of fan violence at a Bay Area sporting event. On Sunday during the Giants-A’s game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum a fight between several fans was captured on video and posted on YouTube. The video lasts about a minute and shows Oakland Police responding to break up the fighting about 30 seconds after the video begins. Requests by NBC Bay Area for details on the fight and a police report to the Oakland Police Department have not yet been provided.
The NBC Investigative Unit has exposed problems with fan violence at virtually every Bay Area sporting venue, including a fight at Candlestick Park last December before the 49ers-Steelers game. Sixty-six-year-old Los Gatos resident Manuel Austin Jr. was beaten and bruised during a fight that broke out before the game started. His injuries included broken teeth, black eye and several bruises. Six months after that fight, the San Francisco Police department’s investigation remains open.
On Monday, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the San Francisco Police Department announced plans to step up the law enforcement presence and tactics for this week’s Giants-Dodgers series. Mayor Lee said in the wake of the Brian Stowe incident last year in Los Angeles the city wants to do everything possible to maintain a quality family experience at AT&T Park. The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit reviewed hundreds of SFPD Police records and discovered the concern by the Mayor is valid. The records showed of the four Giants games producing the most ejections and citations last year, three were games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Officer Gordon Shyy of the San Francisco Police Department told NBC Bay Area, “We know there have been problems in the past with as big as the rivalry is. We just hope there are not problems but if there are we will be able to address them.”
On Monday, the San Francisco Police Department announced that for the first time at a Giants game they would use undercover officers dressed in Dodgers gear in an effort to manage issues of fan violence.
“In the event there are any problems they are going to be able to address those immediately,” Officer Shyy added.