Disruptive fan Tasered at A's game

August 6, 2009 6:17:48 PM PDT
The highlight at an Oakland Athletics' game in Oakland this week has nothing to do with baseball. It's of a disruptive fan and his encounter with police. Officers zapped the man with a Taser several times in the stands, during the game. The whole thing is on tape and all over the Internet.

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Oakland police use their Tasers about 250 times a year, but the difference here is that it is the first time they have ever had to use the weapon at an A's game. The incident was caught on video posted online Wednesday and already has nearly 30,000 views and more than 150 comments.

The ruckus in the stands at Tuesday's A's game attracted so much attention that one fan recorded the entire incident and posted it on the Internet.

Ballpark ushers ejected 62-year-old Thomas Bruso for a long list of violations, like bringing his own alcohol into the park, being belligerent, and using profanity. When he refused to leave his seat, three Oakland police officers were called in.

"You can see here that the individual is really agitated. He's not picking up his belongings that are here on this seat, he's not getting out of this seat. He's not complying with the officer's orders," said Ofc. Jeff Thomason when viewing the video.

The officer unsuccessfully tries to handcuff Bruso, but when Bruso resists, the officer clears the crowd and then deploys his Taser ? a non-lethal weapon that fires 50,000 volts of electrical currents, immediately incapacitating its victim.

But the first shot only partially hits Bruso and has no effect. So the officer deploys it a second time. The crowd's disturbed reaction was audible.

However, department officials say it is a textbook example of how and when police should use a Taser.

"This individual is not a small person," said Thomason. "He is 6-foot-1, 280 pounds, so getting in a fight with an individual like this is not in the officer's best interest."

The charges Bruso could face include refusing an ejection order, bringing alcohol into the stadium, being disruptive and using profanity, and resisting arrest.

"He would have gotten a ticket, he would have just been ejected," said Thomasn. "It just goes to show you that people need to start listening to what the police are saying."

ABC7 tried to reach Bruso for comment, but after police Tased him he was taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation and remains there.

The A's in a statement said their ushers did all they could in handling the situation, but that they no choice but to turn the matter over to the police.

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