NEW YORK – A fan arrested at Shea Stadium Friday night has been accused of trying to temporarily blind an Atlanta Braves pitcher and shortstop with a high-powered flashlight, authorities said.
Authorities said Martinez flashed the powerful light at the players in the bottom of the eighth inning from his seat behind home plate. He was quickly ejected from the game.
"The defendant's alleged actions recklessly endangered the lives of players and spectators and caused a temporary delay to the game," Brown said.
The hullabaloo began at about 10:15 p.m. as the Braves were leading the Mets 7-0. Tim Hudson was on the mound facing Mets pinch hitter Endy Chavez when, investigators said, Martinez turned the beam on the Braves pitcher and shortstop Edgar Renteria.
Renteria complained to umpire Paul Emmel, who then called time out and alerted security. The security officers removed Martinez and found a "a small, streamline flashlight" in his backpack, Brown said.
Hudson said he hoped the suspect would "get what he deserves" in an interview aired Saturday on WABC-TV.
"It's something he shouldn't have done," Hudson said. "I mean, it endangers some of the players out there. ... It's kind of tough to see the ball anyways, especially when you have lasers pointing in your face."
Martinez was still jailed Saturday, and unavailable for comment. Queens prosecutors said Martinez did not have a lawyer yet. If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Martinez recently lost a job as an exterminator, his brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Minerva Martinez, told Newsday.
"He spends money on buying tickets rather than buying anything else," Robert Martinez, 46, told the newspaper.
A law making it expressly illegal to interfere with a professional sporting event was passed by the city in 2003 following a disruptive incident involving fashion designer Calvin Klein.
Klein stepped onto the basketball court at Madison Square Garden in March 2003 to speak with player Latrell Sprewell while a Knicks game was in progress.
The Braves won Friday's game 7-3.