Laser-pointing Lions fan charged, gets Ford Field ban – The Detroit News

Posted: Friday, October 10, 2014

A fan who used a laser pointer to distract players during Sunday’s Lions-Bills game has been identified and is banned indefinitely from all events at Ford Field, the team announced Thursday.

The Lions said the fan admitted using the laser pointer and has been charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. The fan got the ticket from a season-ticket holder, whose tickets have been revoked for the remainder of the season.

The NFL investigated the allegations after Bills quarterback Kyle Orton and holder Colton Schmidt complained to officials during the game about separate incidents involving a laser pointer.

“We have a lot of ways to monitor the crowd and to look at activity both as it’s happening and after the fact,” Lions president Tom Lewand said. “It was a confluence of all of those things that we do that enabled us to identify him so quickly.”

Detroit city attorney Melvin “Butch” Hollowell confirmed the perpetrator was a 17-year-old from West Bloomfield but did not provide a name.

“You see a green light on any of the bills players just laugh cause it’s me,” was tweeted before the account was deactivated.

Attempts by The Detroit News to reach the family were unsuccessful.

Lewand said the team used several means to find the perpetrator, including eyewitness accounts from fans in those sections, camera surveillance and other electronic means, including Twitter.

“We do monitor social media and I certainly don’t think he did himself any favors by talking about it, but that wasn’t the sole issue for us,” Lewand said.

Laser pointers are not illegal but are banned by all major sports league at their stadiums, as they could pose a safety issue if shined in a player’s eyes.

It’s unclear whether there is a precedent for the disorderly conduct charge, but Lewand said that he will let the legal process play out.

“All I’m concerned about is our stadium and I feel like this will stick and the law-enforcement agencies that are involved feel the same way,” he said.

Lewand said there is a “close relationship” between the perpetrator and season-ticket holder but would not elaborate. If the perpetrator returns to Ford Field, he would be subject to a trespassing charge and would be subject to further prosecution.

“We certainly hope that the attention we’ve paid to this will deter anybody who was thinking of doing this in the future — now they understand the ramifications,” Lewand said. “Our security will be on guard in looking for things like laser pointers, but also other devices people bring into the stadium.

“The bottom line is 99.9 percent of our fans are great and create a tremendous home field for us. They were fantastic on Sunday, except for a few bad actors. And we’ll do everything in our power to eliminate those bad actors.”

rod.beard@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/detnewsrodbeard

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