Officer makes 'putout' in rundown of ballpark fan

July 18, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Two spectators trying to steal attention for themselves ran onto the Camden Yards field during Tuesday night's Orioles game, but it was Officer Guy Thacker who stole the show.

Toward the end of the 6-0 Toronto drubbing that offered home-team fans little to cheer about, thousands applauded as Thacker ran after one of the elusive fans, who for two minutes dodged the determined officer.

"That's what they pay us to do," Thacker told his lieutenant, explaining why he ran after the fan, who twice ran by the pitcher's mound and weaved around visiting players.

Usually, officers let a fan run around the outfield to "avoid getting into a situation where you try to intercept them and you become part of the spectacle," said Lt. Donald E. Healy.

The lieutenant said Thacker -- a member of the tactical squad -- wanted to "make quick work of this and the guy kept dodging him. He [chased him] out of a sense of duty and frustration. It got a little protracted."

One man quickly surrendered. But the other man sparked the chase, and juked the officer near the warning track. He finally stopped in left-center field, where Thacker jerked the suspect's hands behind him and slapped the cuffs on.

The elusive fan, Matthew J. Noleman, 21, of Lanham, was charged with trespassing. Nathan Hendershot, 20, New Carrollton, was also charged with trespassing.

Pub Date: 7/18/96

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