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Police announce they’ve arrested Panthers fan for assault

Frank Schwab,Shutdown Corner Fri, Oct 13, 2017

The Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department worked quickly to arrest a man seen in a shocking video sucker punching another fan during Thursday night’s game.

The CMPD announced Friday evening that Kyle Adam Maraghy was charged with simple assault and was being brought to jail.

The video of a Panthers fan punching another fan during the game went viral on Friday. The team announced Friday it had identified the perpetrator in the video and was working with the CMPD. The authorities said on Friday afternoon they had a suspect.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a video of violence in the stands of an NFL game. It is reassuring that the team and law enforcement took the incident quite seriously and worked rapidly to make an arrest. Hopefully that deters the next NFL fan fight in the stands.

29 injured after safety barriers collapse in French soccer stadium

At least 29 people were injured, including five seriously, when safety barriers collapsed at a French Ligue 1 game between Amiens and Lille on Saturday, local authorities and match officials said leading to the match being abandoned.

Television pictures showed dozens of Lille supporters falling on top of each other after a barrier at the Stade de la Licorne broke seconds after Lille scored in 15th minute of the local northern derby match.

Police sources said the total number of injuries were still to be determined, although a provisional count in a statement by local hospital services put the number at 29, including five seriously.

READ MORE: 17 dead after stampede in Angolan soccer stadium

“In light of the events, and given the fact that about 20 were injured, three of them seriously, it has been decided that the game would not resume,” match delegate Noel Mannino had earlier said.

Safety at French soccer stadiums has improved drastically since 1992 when 18 people were killed after a stand collapsed at the Armand Cesari Stadium before a French Cup game between hosts Bastia and Olympique de Marseille.

Amiens president Bernard Joannin, whose stadium opened in 1999, told a news conference that there had been no signs of any problems with the barrier and appeared to put the blame on hardcore ultra fans from Lille.

READ MORE: Explosions near Istanbul soccer stadium kills at least 29

“There was no problem with the barrier,” Joannin said. “The police services warned us of about 200 ultras that were extremely irritable in the area reserved for the Lille supporters. They rushed in a disorderly fashion – more than 500 of them – on to this barrier which was in perfect condition.”

Local French media reported that there has been construction at the stadium, but that was limited to the roofing at the other side of where the accident happened.

Nathalie Boy de la Tour, president of the professional football league, told BFM TV that the stadium had passed safety norms.

READ MORE: 1989 Hillsborough Stadium disaster: 96 Liverpool soccer fans ‘unlawfully killed,’ jury finds

Several Lille supporters speaking on BFM described a scene of panic and criticised the conditions of the stadium.

“It was like a boat sinking,” Lille supporter Esteban said.

Lille chief executive, Marc Ingla, said on Twitter that Joannin’s comments were “irresponsible.”

“Our supporters are irreproachable and professional football demands the best organisation,” he said. He questioned the way the Lille fans had been welcomed and the security conditions.

The local prosecutor said he had opened an investigation into the incident.

© 2017 Reuters

Las Vegas shooting: Bodycam footage shows first response

Las Vegas shooting: Bodycam footage shows first response

By Holly Yan, Madison Park and Darran Simon, CNN

Updated 5:17 AM ET, Wed October 4, 2017

(CNN)Every detail of this indiscriminate mass murder seemed meticulously planned.

The selection of a hotel room overlooking a music festival, days before the attack. The cache of 23 weapons inside the gunman’s Las Vegas suite. And thousands of rounds of ammunition — plus an ingredient used in explosives — inside the killer’s home and car.
The latest revelation came Tuesday afternoon when police said gunman Stephen Paddock set up cameras inside his hotel suite and in the hallway. Police are not aware whether the devices were transmitting — the FBI is investigating their use — but the Clark County sheriff told reporters he thinks the shooter might have used them to watch for people approaching his room.
One camera looked out the peephole on the suite’s door.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives disclosed that Paddock had outfitted 12 of his rifles with a legal device called a bump-fire stock, which enables a shooter to fire bullets rapidly, similar to an automatic rifle.
Authorities released the first body camera footage of police responding to the shooting. It captured the rapid staccato of the gunfire at a fairly close range.
Officers were seen hunkering down behind a wall. “Go that way, get out of here! There’s gunshots coming from over there,” one officer is heard yelling at civilians. At one point, they were next to a patrol vehicle on Las Vegas Boulevard, where one officer was shot, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill said.
No one knows why Paddock morphed from a retired accountant to the deadliest mass shooter in modern US history. His relentless gunfire — police say he fired for nine to 11 minutes after the first 911 call — on country music fans at an outdoor concert left 58 people dead.
Why officials aren’t calling this ‘domestic terrorism’
Another 500 people are still trying to recover from injuries — everything from gunshot wounds to stampede injuries suffered when 22,000 people tried to flee the gunman’s aim.
So far, police believe Paddock acted alone — which could make the motive harder to determine.

London Stadium’s lax security allows father to stroll into World Championships

Posted by
on 14th August 2017

Questions have been raised about London Stadium’s security after a father walked in without a ticket to watch the World Athletics Championships from a front-row seat.

Richard Levene and his seven-year-old daughter caught the 200m men’s and women’s final and semi-final, along with the long jump and triple jump finals for free.

The Category A, front-row seats that the pair found themselves in on Thursday, August 10 cost £95 (€104/$123) each.

Levene claims that he and his daughter were shopping at Westfield and, after seeing crowds gathering at the venue, decided to see how close to the stadium they could get.

After the dad found himself strolling past ticket and bag checks and into the stadium, Levene has raised questions about the lax security at the arena.

He said, according to the Daily Mail newspaper: “With what’s going on in the world, I want people to know how atrocious it is that I could walk into a world class sporting event without any check.

“I could have had anything on me. I was gobsmacked that no one even asked to see my tickets.

“There were two free seats in the front row – nobody is going to turn down that opportunity. I was sitting within four or five yards of all the international athletes.”

Levene claims that he had not intended to sneak in, but after his daughter asked what was going on with the crowds, he “just wanted to see how close to the stadium he could get.”

He added: “There were two queues you could walk through and no one stopped me as we walked through. There were a couple of guards searching bags but they didn’t stop me to ask for my tickets.

“The next thing I know I’m sitting in the stadium watching the events.

“After the terrible Manchester bombings at the Ariana Grande concert, this kind of event should have much more strict security to ensure there is not another terrorist tragedy.”

Operator alleges stolen Computicket passes led to fatal Soccer City stampede

Posted by
on 31st July 2017

Fake tickets from Computicket might have played a role in the stampede that led to two deaths at a high-profile football match at Johannesburg’s huge Soccer City Stadium.

Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA), which manages the venue, is pushing for an investigation to determine the origin of what appears to be fake tickets that led to crushing at a derby match on Saturday between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

The 87,000-capacity Soccer City – also known as FNB Stadium – hosted the 2010 Fifa World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. It also staged Nelson Mandela’s memorial in 2013, which was broadcast live around the world.

According to the Eye Witness News website, SMSA said a preliminary investigation showed that the incident was caused by a group of fans with fraudulent tickets trying to gain access to the stadium. It is reported that police confiscated about 3,000 counterfeit tickets that fans had in their possession at the Carling Black Label Cup match.

SMSA chief executive Jacques Grobbelaar said the tickets were clearly printed as if from South Africa-based ticket operator Computicket.

He said: “The stock is serial numbered, it should be locked away, it should be signed out against proper registers. Our inference at this stage is that the ticket stock had been stolen.”

As well as Soccer City, SMSA operates the three other major arenas in Johannesburg: Orlando Stadium, Dobsonville Stadium and Rand Stadium. Computicket is headquartered in Johannesburg.

Eight dead after wall collapses at Senegalese football stadium

Eight dead after wall collapses at Senegalese football stadium

Eight people have been killed and almost 90 injured after a wall collapsed at the Demba Diop stadium in Senegal on Saturday.

A stampede, which eventually caused the wall to fall, began after a fight kicked off between rival fans of Stade de Mbour and Union Sportive Oukam, to which the police responded by using tear gas.

Home fans reportedly threw stones and other objects at people, while many pictures show fans scrambling over a low wall engulfed in a cloud of gas.

The AFP news agency reported that sports minister Matar Ba said a young girl was among the dead.

He said “strong measures (would be implemented) so that such an event will never be repeated in Senegal,” speaking to the AFP by phone.

The country has suspended all sporting and cultural events for the remainder of July, while the president of the Senegalese league, Saer Seck, defended the security forces on duty during the incident.

ESPN reported that Seck said: “On the security side, we took all precautions initially in separating the two groups of supporters to neutralise them.

“We hired agents of the security forces in their numbers, and now there were fights and a collapse.”

“(It’s) a great sadness for all of Senegalese football,” Seck added.

“I present my condolences to the families of all of the victims that we were unable to revive. This is not my conception of football.”

Cheikh Maba Diop, whose friend died in the incident and who helped move people out of the stadium, told AFP: “All of a sudden when the wall fell… we knew exactly that some of our own had lost their lives because the wall fell directly on to people.”

BBC Africa’s James Copnall said that the stadium itself was in need of repairs and that a government enquiry will look into the causes.

Game wardens to deter elephants from Sri Lanka ODI stadium

Posted by
on 6th July 2017

While stadium operators may often consider the dangers of fans entering the field of play, officials at Hambantota Stadium in Sri Lanka are taking steps to prevent elephants from straying onto the pitch during the country’s forthcoming ODI cricket series with Zimbabwe.

Game wardens will be on hand to deter the residents of the nearby elephant sanctuary from trespassing at the 35,000-capacity stadium.

The stadium was built in 2009, in an area of Sri Lanka badly affected by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, but has hosted only a handful of matches because of its remote location and high maintenance costs.

One official told the AFP news agency that a herd of about 25 elephants roam in the area and are a potential threat to fans.

“There had been a few instances when elephants broke through the fence and invaded the pitch at night,” an official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

“A jungle patch starts about 100 metres from the stadium and we are deploying 10 wardens to make sure that fans don’t stray into that area and provoke the elephants.”

It is not the first time that wildlife has disrupted games at Hambantota, as swarms of wasps that have taken up residence there have also caused problems.

Eight dead in Malawi football stadium stampede

Posted by
on 7th July 2017

Police in Malawi have confirmed that eight people have died after a stampede at the Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

The crush, which also left dozens injured, took place before an exhibition friendly match between top Malawian sides Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers.

According to the BBC, gates to the stadium had been due to open at 6:30am local time to allow free entry of fans into the 40,000-capacity venue, but this process was delayed by approximately three hours.

However, thousands of supporters had already arrived at the stadium and some attempted to force their way. Police responded by firing tear gas at the crowds in an effort to deter people from pushing forward.

Although the exact number of those injured in the crush is still unclear, Inspector General of Police, Lexan Kachama, told the Reuters news agency that he expected the total number of causalities to increase.

Despite the incident, officials decided to go ahead with the match and the Nyasa Big Bullets went on to win 2-1 in front of a packed crowd at the stadium.

However, President Peter Mutharika, who had been due to attend the match, was not present.

Speaking in the aftermath of the tragedy, Mutharika offered his condolences to those affected and said that the Malawi government will do all it can to help the families of those who were killed or injured in the crush.

US Bank Stadium security company faces employment probe

Monterrey Security, the company that provides various security services at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is to face a state-led investigation over its hiring practices.

According to KSTP-TV, sources close to the matter have said the probe involves falsification of government documents, failure to conduct proper background checks and hiring people with a criminal record without full clearance.

KSTP-TV added that the investigation involves hundreds of staff at the firm.

The Star Tribune newspaper reports that Monterrey is in the first year of three-year contract with the US Bank Stadium, which only opened in July last year. The venue is home to NFL American football franchise the Minnesota Vikings.

Ongoing investigation

The company came under fire during a Vikings game earlier this year when two protestors were able to drop down from scaffolding at the stadium to unfurl a banner with a slogan opposing a pipeline.

In a statement, SMG, operator of the US Bank Stadium, said: “We expect that Monterrey Security will cooperate fully with state officials for the ongoing investigation.

“Upon the completion of this investigation, SMG will take appropriate action. … The safety and security of all guests and employees of US Bank Stadium continues to be our top priority.”

The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is not due to meet again until June 22, but chairwoman Kathleen Blatz said she does not expect any action to be taken against Monterrey.

Blatz added: “I would assume they know what they’re doing; I can’t believe it’s just wholesale neglect of the rules.”

Modern Distractions And Big Hitters Like Judge Make Extra Fan Protection A Must

Palladino: Modern Distractions And Big Hitters Like Judge Make Extra Fan Protection A Must

It’s Time For The Yankees And Mets, Along With Rest Of MLB, To Extend Protective Netting To End Of Dugouts June 5, 2017 8:00 AM
By Ernie Palladino
» More Ernie Palladino Columns

The Yankees are knocking balls over the outfield fences at an astounding and highly entertaining rate. But it’s the ones that don’t fly out in fair territory that should concern their loyal followers.

This has been such an entertaining season that it would be a downright shame if someone in one of those expensive field level seats along the foul lines wound up in the hospital because they took an Aaron Judge liner in the teeth. Yet, as has been seen around the league in recent years, the incidence of spectator injuries has risen.

Kids and adults have both been carted out of their seats in varying states of consciousness because of such mishaps. Numerous lawsuits have caused the powers of Major League Baseball to encourage their clubs to extend the protective netting found behind all backstops to the end of the dugouts, a suggestion recently taken a step further in New York by Brooklyn councilman Rafael Espinal, who called on the city to mandate netting from backstop to foul pole in both ballparks.

Still, what seems like such a simple, cheap, common-sense measure to keep fans’ heads intact has yet to be implemented. Neither the Yanks nor Mets have netting beyond the home plate area at this point. In fact, only eight of the 30 teams have extended their netting beyond home plate.

And a lot of that pushback has come from fans, themselves, who believe a few threads of black nylon in front of them will take away from the total stadium experience.

They have a right to their opinion, of course. Those seats in both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field cost a lot of money, and fans who dish out that kind of bread should get as full a view of the proceedings as possible. But, really, they don’t care as much about the action as the chance at corralling a foul ball. It’s the reason so many thousands of corporate giants over baseball’s history have risked getting cokes and mustard splashed over $700 suits as they have pursued those $5 baseballs.

But times have changed. Many of those businessmen now sit in luxury boxes where, in total safety, they can indulge in the latest societal distraction, the smartphone. The problem is, the folks who populate the field level seats have the iPhone and Galaxy, too.

They are not so safe. In fact, those seats at just about any major or minor league stadium have become danger zones. More than 1,700 injuries were reported from pro parks on all levels.

It’s not unusual to see a bunch of fans with their heads stuck in the smartphones as the action rages on the field. It makes sense. In an age where people are getting hit by cars because they’re texting their buddies in the middle of the street, it’s not far-fetched that people in the line of fire at the ballpark would do the same thing.

That means, though, that they’re not paying attention to the game. Thus, the possibilities of taking a hot, foul line drive off the noggin increase exponentially.

Toronto Blue Jays v New York YankeesYankees outfielder Aaron Judge breaks his bat as he hits a single in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on May 3, 2017. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Now take it a step further. The Yanks have arguably the most exciting young player in the majors in Judge. It seems that every fly ball he hits goes 400 feet or more, and even his groundouts are bullets.

He’s not a dead pull hitter. But still, his utter strength represents a major danger to anyone sitting down the line. He need only get in front of a changeup and send a cannon shot into the stands to create a potential tragedy.

Thankfully, that hasn’t happened yet. But why chance it — anywhere. With players getting stronger, pitchers throwing harder, and fans’ attention spans shortened by hand-sized technology, the chances of coming away from a game with a concussion or busted cheek bone have increased.

Hitters like Judge present scary enough propositions for pitchers. But that’s the fun of baseball. It would be a shame if an errant liner off his bat dampens any of the excitement he’s generated.

It’s time for all of baseball to get with the times.

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