Over the weekend there was a terror alert in effect for the entire New York metropolitan area that brought heightened security to bridges, tunnels and -- one would presume -- large events. With Sunday being the 10th anniversary of 9/11, it was acknowledged by national and local law enforcement that terrorists would like nothing more than to mark the date with another attack.
Looking to mark the date in another manner entirely, the NFL was doing its best to commemorate the tragic events with respectful ceremonies before each game yesterday. Nowhere was the atmosphere as highly charged with emotion as at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey before the New York Jets were set to take on the Dallas Cowboys just a few miles from the World Trade Center.
These circumstances make it all the more shocking that a man wearing a Cowboys jersey allegedly got past stadium security with a stun gun. That someone would choose to smuggle a Taser into a sporting event is the first problem. That he would choose to use it on other fans makes matters even worse. But the most frightening aspect is noted by a fan at the conclusion of the shaky video of the episode. At the end of the clip that was initially submitted by a reader to Deadspin, a fan asks aloud how it was possible for someone to get into the stadium with that weapon. Great question.
With the frenetic video far from conclusive, Deadspin entertainingly entertains the notion that the person alleged to have the Taser could actually be some sort of undercover security officer, and until more details surface it would seem that anything is possible. Of course, dressing up an armed undercover office in the opponent's jersey and sending him out to keep the peace among the home crowd would seem only slightly more competent a strategy than whatever process may have allowed this taser into the stadium in the first place.
On a day dedicated to reflection and remembering the sacrifices made 10 years ago, one would hope that fans would do a better job of restraining themselves. But, more importantly, we should demand that security does a better job. At this point, everyone coming to a game should understand that there are very good reasons why they have to wait a bit longer to get through the turnstiles.
Putting aside the potentially dangerous oversight by stadium security, fan-on-fan violence has become increasingly common. Several fights occurred during NFL preseason games this year in San Francisco and Baltimore. There was even gunfire in the parking lot of Candlestick Park following a preseason meeting between the 49ers and Raiders.
Another scuffle occurred in the stands last week when the University of Maryland played Miami in college football. On opening day of the MLB season, San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow was badly beaten outside Dodgers Stadium.
UPDATE: Leroy McKelvey, the man in the Cowboys jersey, was arrested after allegedly using an illegal Taser in a fight in the stands at the Jets-Cowboys game. McKelvey, 59, was charged with three counts of aggravated assault and two weapons counts, FoxNews.com reports.
UDPATE #2: According to the Cliffview Pilot, one of the men tasered was a U.S. Marine who had previously chastised McKelvey and his group for not standing and removing their caps during the national anthem.
UPDATE: #3: Another video of the scuffle has been uploaded to Youtube. Although the footage is much clearer than the original it is still not really possible to see the stun gun. As in the first video, though, many fans in the crowd are speaking and yelling about it. This video includes police arriving on the scene.
WARNING: VERY EXPLICIT language used in video.