New Bill Seeks To Ban Violent Sports Fans From California Stadiums

LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Violent sports fans could soon be watching their favorite teams from the couch.

A bill introduced in the state Assembly would create the nation’s first “ban list,” barring unruly fans from attending professional sports games.

The proposal would apply to fans convicted of felonies, such as assault, at arenas, and those placed on the list would be banned from attending any professional sporting event in California for up to five years.

Those convicted of committing a second felony at a game could be banned for up to 10 years.

Fans caught violating the ban would be guilty of a misdemeanor and could be fined up to $10,000 and put in jail for up to a year.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, says his bill is intended to prevent violence such as last year’s near-fatal beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow outside Dodger Stadium.

The bill would also have applied to the fight at Candlestick Park during a San Francisco 49ers-Oakland Raiders game last year, in which two men were shot outside the stadium and one rendered unconscious in a restroom.

The bill would not apply to college or minor league teams.

Gatto’s bill would authorize the attorney general’s office to distribute the names and photos of people on the ban list, and post this information online. Italy and England have adopted similar laws.

Professional sports teams would have to pay $10,000 to create the list and set up a reward fund for crime witnesses. Sports team and arena owners have not yet weighed in on the bill.

Stow, 42, was beaten into a coma on the LA Dodgers’ opening day last year.

Two suspects — Louie Sanchez, 29, and Marvin Norwood, 30 – pleaded not guilty to mayhem, assault, battery and other counts in August. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 13.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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