California enacts new law to help prevent fan violence
California Governor Jerry Brown took action last week to protect fans at professional sporting events from fan violence by signing into law a bill requiring professional sports teams and arenas to post written notices displaying text message and phone numbers to alert stadium security to prevent violent acts.
AB 2464 was enacted in response to the brutal attack on 42-year-old S.F. Giants fan Bryan Stow after a baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Opening Day March 31, 2011.
Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto of Los Angeles, who wrote AB 2464, says “[t]his bill is necessary to restore Californians’ faith in their ability to safely attend professional games.” He emphasized that although fans can call 911 to respond to violence, the stadium’s own security workers can arrive on the scene more quickly.
“In fact, several of the more high-profile beatings lasted over a span of several minutes, during which frantic fans dialed 911,” Gatto said in a statement. “In those instances, it is stadium security (from within the stadium) and not the police (coming from outside the stadium) who is best equipped to quickly respond and prevent an injury from becoming more serious.
Gatto says he hopes the law serves as a deterrent to fan violence.
The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Following the attack at Dodger Stadium, Stow was admitted to the hospital in critical condition and placed into a medically induced coma. He was released from the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center six months ago and is continuing in his difficult recovery.
Suspects Marvin Norwood and Louis Sanchez are currently awaiting trial in the attack.
AB 2464 includes the following language:
“THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 243.85 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
243.85. The owner of any professional sports facility shall post, visible from a majority of the seating in the stands at all times, at controlled entry areas, and at parking facilities that are part of the professional sports facility, written notices displaying the text message number and telephone number to contact security in order to report a violent act.”
RYAN KERNS, Esq., Wild About Trial
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