Mets' Coleman flips firecracker 3 fans injured 1-year-old girl among those hurt in parking lot BASEBALL

July 26, 1993|By Tim Brown | Tim Brown,Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES -- At least three people were injured late Saturday afternoon when New York Mets outfielder Vince Coleman flipped a firecracker out of a car in the players' parking lot at Dodger Stadium.

The car, a 1991 Jeep Cherokee, was driven by Dodgers outfielder Eric Davis. Coleman and Mets teammate Bobby Bonilla were passengers.

Injured in the blast, according to reports, were Cindy Mayhew of Covina and two unidentified children, a 1-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy.

Mayhew complained that the noise aggravated an existing ear condition. The 1-year-old girl suffered an eye and cheek injury and the 11-year-old boy suffered a laceration to the shin. Both children were treated at local hospitals and released.

Coleman would not comment to reporters. Bonilla mounted a sign above his locker that read, "Don't ask!!!!"

Davis, however, admitted that Coleman threw the firecracker, which landed 15 feet from a fence that separated a crowd from the parking lot. The players were leaving after the Dodgers' 5-4 win. The blast could be heard throughout Chavez Ravine.

Jim Wells, spokesman for the Los Angeles City Fire Department, said that an investigation is ongoing. He confirmed three injuries, that the three players would be interviewed and that no more information would be available until today.

"Yeah, he threw a firecracker out of a car," Davis said. "He didn't throw a firecracker in a crowd of people."

Davis said that there were hecklers in the gathering, but that was not why Coleman tossed the explosive.

"Why do people throw firecrackers?" he asked. "Everybody throws firecrackers. The guy [Coleman] had a firecracker and threw it six feet from my car. We were laughing about it as we drove away."

The firecracker did not belong to Davis, he said, and he could not determine the type of firecracker. Sources said it was an M-80 or a cherry bomb, more volatile than the average firecracker. Police and fire officials met with Davis before yesterday's game.

Fred Claire, the Dodgers' executive vice president, said that he is not involved in any investigation, and that local police and fire authorities have taken charge.

"I don't have any of the pertinent information other than my understanding there was an incident under investigation," Claire said.

Claire added that he "alerted" Davis to possible ramifications Saturday night.

Asked the nature of the call from Claire, Davis said: "He thought it was a joke. We all did."

Relayed that quote, Claire responded, "I told him I had no details at that point as far as what it was all about."

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