Coleman apologizes for actions Outfielder offers to fully compensate National League

July 30, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

New York Mets outfielder Vince Coleman apparently will neither contest criminal charges that might be filed today by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, nor deny compensation to the family of a 2-year-old girl injured in an explosion Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Coleman, who allegedly threw an explosive device near a group of fans, will attempt to settle with the family of Amanda Santos, 2, who was injured by flying debris, a source close to Coleman's family said yesterday.

"It is his desire to settle all cases without going to court . . . [and] to fully compensate Amanda and the Santos family," the source said.

Darrell J. York, the attorney for the Santos family, had announced Wednesday plans to sue Coleman, and possibly Dodgers outfielder Eric Davis, and the Mets and Dodgers organizations, within the next month.

"If we are able to negotiate a settlement before that time, great," said York, who has been in contact with Bob Shapiro and Michael Nasatir, Coleman's attorneys. "I'm not going to close the doors on any offer."

York, though, said it is premature to discuss a settlement, or how it might affect Davis, the Mets, or the Dodgers.

Davis, Coleman and Met outfielder Bobby Bonilla drove away in Davis' vehicle after the explosion, which occurred near a chain-link fence that separates fans from the players' parking lot, behind the stadium's left-field pavilion.

Two other injured fans -- Cindy Mayhew, 33, of Covina, Calif., and an 11-year-old boy, who has yet to be identified -- will also be compensated, the source said.

"Only the people who immediately reported it," the source said.

Amanda suffered second-degree burns under her right eye, an injury to her right index finger and lacerations of her cornea, York said.

She is being evaluated by several trauma specialists, he said.

York said he could better discuss a possible lawsuit after the district attorney's office decides whether to file criminal charges.

That decision is expected after the district attorney's office receives a report from arson investigators.

A felony charge would be prosecuted by the district attorney's office, a misdemeanor by the city attorney's office. A felony conviction could result in up to three years in prison.

"[Coleman] will not contest any criminal sanctions," the source said.

In New York, Coleman made his first public statements since the incident, after the New York-Florida Marlins game, which he sat out.

"I want everyone to know that I now realize that my actions on July 24th were very inappropriate," he said. "Sincerely, it was never my intentions to bring harm to anyone." Coleman, 31, said he has been portrayed as an insensitive person, unconcerned with the welfare of the three injured fans.

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