St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny followed the strange green light with his eyes, scanning the stands at Busch Stadium before spotting a teenage boy inside a suite along the first base line. The fan was laughing, but Matheny wasn't. He made eye contact and mouthed "I see you" to the boy, who responded with more laughing and by pointing a laser above the manager's head.
As security approached the suite, the fan and some of his friends fled but were stopped before exiting the stadium. Officers also saw one of the boys throw an object into the trash and later found a laser pointer.
Not too bright, kid.
Via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, that was the subplot Monday night during the Cardinals-Giants game, which was delayed briefly in the bottom of the seventh because of the boy's shenanigans. He also had pointed his laser at Giants pitcher Shane Loux, but Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday and umpire Marvin Hudson spotted the light before play continued. Nobody was hurt, but it was still a dangerous prank. Laser pointers can be blinding, and then you add swinging bats, along with baseballs traveling at 90-plus mph into the mix and it doesn't get safer.
This is not what Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox means when he refers to the "Laser Show."
Joe Walsh, director of security and special services for the Cardinals, said there is no way to distinguish a prank from a gunman aiming a laser-equipped firearm.
Well, that's a scary thought. After Matheny personally identified the boy to security, he was arrested and booked on suspicion of peace disturbance at an athletic event. The suspect is a 17-year-old from Creve Coeur, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. He was released after posting $150 bail, police captain Jerry Leyshock told the Post-Dispatch.
There could also be repercussions for the private suite owners, Mercy Health, partly because unauthorized liquor was found in the suite. Most of the suite's occupants were teenagers, though no accusations of them drinking have been made.
Kids will do stupid things, and hopefully he'll learn from his mistake after a reasonable punishment is given. But there was also an adult among the children, and he's not going to win any chaperone of the year awards:
Leyshock said he and other officers found additional teens in the suite with an adult he identified as an executive with St. Louis-based Mercy Health systems, whom he characterized as "uncooperative" and "confrontational."
"We had young kids acting stupid, but we had adults acting even more boorish," Walsh complained. "They were interfering with what we were doing to stop the problem."
If what security says is true, and they deserve the benefit of the doubt, then this "adult" needs to be outed and punished. No wonder the kids were acting inappropriately with such immature leadership.
This isn't the first time a laser pointer disrupted a game; it also happened to the Cardinals at Philadelphia in 2009. There also was an incident at Shea Stadium during a game between the Mets and Braves in 2007. But such interruptions are rarer than they used to be in the '90s and early 2000s, when pointers first became common.