2012-09-12 / Front Page

Fan Arrested After Storming Court At US Open

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced that an Ecuadorian tourist seeking an autograph has been charged with running out onto the tennis court at the Louis Armstrong Tennis Stadium on September 6 following the singles match played by Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka.  The players were still on the court at the time of the alleged incident.
 
     District Attorney Brown said, “The Queens District Attorney’s Office and U.S. Open officials have zero tolerance for spectators who fail to conduct themselves responsibly at sporting events.  What is particularly disturbing in this case is that the two players were still on the court when the defendant left his seat and entered the playing area.  Fortunately, U.S. Open security personnel reacted swiftly to the situation and removed the defendant from the court without incident.”
 
     The District Attorney noted that while the defendant might possibly have been simply an overzealous fan seeking an autograph, in 1993, tennis pro Monica Seles was stabbed in the back by a spectator during a match in Hamburg, Germany.  “There is no such thing as being too careful,” said District Attorney Brown.
 
 The District Attorney identified the defendant as Damian Proano, 40, of N 2341 Tamayo Street, Quito, Ecuador.  Proano, who is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court, is charged with remaining upon the playing area of a major venue sporting event.  If convicted, he faces up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $1,000.
 
     District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges, Proano entered the playing area at the Louis Armstrong Stadium in Flushing Meadows just after the U.S. Open match with Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka.  Proano was immediately detained and removed from the field by security personnel.
 
     District Attorney Brown noted that the New York City Council passed the Interference with a Professional Sporting Event Law in 2003 after fashion designer Calvin Klein stepped out onto the basketball court at Madison Square Garden in March 2003 to speak with player Latrell Sprewell while a Knicks game was in progress. John McCarthy, 38, of Clifton, NJ, was the first person charged under the law when he ran onto the field during a Mets game at Shea Stadium on May 4, 2004, carrying a sign that read “Howard Stern: Here’s Johnny.” McCarthy pleaded guilty in August 2004 and was sentenced to eight weekends in jail, fined $2,000 and ordered to serve three years’ probation, during which he was prohibited from going to Shea Stadium
 
     The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Morgan Goulet, of the  District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Bureau, under the supervision of  Gregory C. Pavlides, Bureau Chief, and Christina Hanophy, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of the Investigations Division Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Cantoni.
 
     It should be noted that a complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
 
 

Return to top

Copyright 1999-2019 The Service Advertising Group, Inc. All rights reserved.