The fans who ran up to Ronald Acuña Jr. on the field during Monday’s game between the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies in Denver have been arrested, police said.
The two males, identified as 23-year-old Jefferson Gonzales-Merida and 21-year-old Carlos Rivelo-Paiz, were arrested for going onto Coors Field after they “entered the field without prior permission and made physical contact with a player,” the Denver Police Department said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. The two suspects, who are both from Denver, were arrested and jailed for trespassing and disturbing the peace.
A third person, an unidentified juvenile male, also briefly entered the field before going back into the stands, police said. The juvenile was taken by Coors Field staff and was cited for trespassing.
What happened to Ronald Acuña Jr.?
The incident took place in the middle of the seventh inning of Atlanta’s 14-4 win at Coors Field. Video taken from the outfield stands showed one person run up to Acuña and put his arm around him. Two security guards appeared and attempted to pry the person away from the Braves star, before a third security guard arrived and was able to get the person off of Acuña.
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Shortly after, another fan ran up to Acuña and attempted to reach out toward him before one of the security guards pushed him away. Acuña was then knocked down before a fourth security guard helped take down the second fan on the field. The suspects could be seen trying to break away as security attempted to escort them off the field, while Acuña’s teammates came to his side.
What did Ronald Acuña Jr., Atlanta Braves say about incident?
Acuña told reporters postgame he was a “little scared at first” when the suspects approached him, but he wasn’t injured.
“I think the fans were out there and asking for pictures. I really couldn’t say anything because at that point, security was already there and we were already kind of tangled up, but security was able to get there and everything’s OK,” he said. “We’re all OK and I hope they’re OK.”
Braves manager Brian Snitker said he didn’t see what happened because he was in the bathroom, but said you don’t ever want to see that type of incident.
“You don’t know what people will do when they get out there. It’s a scary situation,” Snitker said.
Outfielder Kevin Pillar said “no way is it appropriate for people to leave the stands, even more to put their hands on someone else.”