They should be prosecuted for their criminal acts and forbidden from returning to the arena, ever.I can usually depend on Dan for some law and order common sense, so you can be assured I was surprised when he argued that at times violence is "part of the game." I called Dan on my way up to Puyallup earlier this week to ask if I got into an argument with someone at work and popped him in the nose, what I would be charged with. Dan said, likely, simple assault. Not a felony, but not something you want to spend your afternoon sorting out either.
Our long conversation on Ron Artest, Detroit fans, the city of Detroit in general and criminal law boiled down to whether or not athletes on the field of play who take part in criminal activity (simple assault) should be charged.
Its my impression that if a ball player runs after a pitcher for throwing inside, hits him a couple times, that is criminal activity. But, the police officers that are always at Mariners' games never step in to do anything about it. If they were walking back to their cars after the game and saw a similar activity, they would pull out their cuffs.
Especially after the Pistons/Pacers brawl, the fact that professional athletes are allowed to literally get away with criminal behavior on the field baffles me. People are watching it happen dozens of times every season, and no one considers it criminal. Take away the field, the stadium and uniforms. Make it a beer league even, and you have cops, cuffs and all that.
Dan made one valid point. In the case of simple assault, a fist fight, if their isn't anyone willing to press charges, no action by the police can be taken. Now, this is a part of our law that I haven't thought about much. Its possible for someone to break a law, but not be punished, because someone who is not a police officer or public servant of any kind, rather the victim, decides that the criminal should not be hauled in.
Either way, there is no way in my mind that Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal should not have been hauled away in handcuffs