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Stadium Attacks, Scares & Threats


Title: Two Shot, One Attacked, At NFL Pre-Season Game
Date: August 21, 2011
Source: Reuters

Abstract: Two men were shot and wounded in the parking lot of Candlestick Park after a preseason National Football League (NFL) game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders, and a third man was beaten unconscious inside the stadium, police said on Sunday.

A 24-year-old man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries from the shooting on Saturday night, while the other man, is in his 20s, was hospitalized with less serious injuries, San Francisco police said.

Police said they had no suspect in custody from the outbreak of violence in the parking lot of San Francisco's Candlestick Park, and that it was not immediately clear if any of the men who were shot were fans of any particular team.

The two men were found in different locations outside the stadium, and investigators are still unsure if those two attacks are related, said San Francisco police spokesman Sergeant Michael Andraychak.

During the game, a 26 year-old man was beaten unconscious in an upper-level bathroom at the stadium, and he also was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, Andraychak said.

Police said they have not arrested a suspect in the bathroom beating.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan issued a joint statement about the violence.

"The incidents at Candlestick Park last night after the San Francisco 49ers versus Oakland Raiders game are completely unacceptable, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," they said.

The shootings and beating come less than five months after a San Francisco Giants baseball fan was severely assaulted outside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, sparking outrage in the city and causing some to question security arrangements at the stadium.

In the Bay area preseason showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night, the 49ers won 17-3.

Andraychak said the violence at Candlestick Park was unusual, and that more often police and security there deal with relatively minor problems, such as public intoxication or use of profanity.

The NFL, which is trying win back fans after a bitter labor dispute threatened to delay the upcoming season, condemned the violence.

"We deplore the activities of a handful of fans at last night's game and pledge our full support to Mayors Lee and Quan and to state and local law enforcement agencies," said a statement issued by the NFL.

"We are carefully reviewing the events to make sure we have a full understanding of the facts" (Reuters, 2011).

Title: Cops: Man Got Taser Into NFL Game On 9/11 Anniversary
Date: September 13, 2011
Source: CBS News

Abstract:
A South Carolina man was arrested after allegedly using an illegal Taser in a fight with other fans during the Dallas Cowboys-New York Jets game Sunday night, state police said.

Leroy McKelvey, of Moncks Corner, S.C., was charged with three counts of aggravated assault and two weapons counts. The 59-year-old McKelvey was taken to the Bergen County Jail, where bail was set at $22,500. It wasn't known if he had retained an attorney.

The website Deadspin posted a cellphone video Monday of the fight. One fan can be heard on the video saying: "How did he get in here with that thing?"

MetLife Stadium CEO Mark Lamping said no one was seriously hurt in the incident during the Jets' 27-24 victory.

There was an increased security presence at the game on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, including bomb-sniffing dogs checking every car that entered. Fans were also patted down and had their bags checked, typical of game day security.

"Procedures for pat downs established by the NFL and used at every game were in effect at all entry gates," Lamping said in a statement.

It's possible there could be changes in the security methods, though. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is "always refining and improving our security procedures."

"These procedures have been successful in keeping items that can cause serious injuries out of our stadiums," Aiello said in a statement. "We will continue to be vigilant in protecting the safety of our fans" (CBS News, 2011).

Title: Stabbing In Qualcomm Lot During Chargers' Game
Date:
November 10, 2011
Source:
Sign On San Diego

Abstract: A 25-year-old man was stabbed Thursday night during a fight in the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot during the Chargers-Raiders game, San Diego police said.

The fight occurred about 7:30 p.m. near the front gate. The man was stabbed in the abdomen, police Officer David Stafford said. He was taken to a hospital, and the injury was not believed to be life-threatening, police said.

The victim was uncooperative with police and did not give officers a description of an assailant or assailants, Stafford said.

It was not immediately known if the victim was a local resident (Sign On San Diego, 2011).

Title:
Lights Go Out (Twice) At Candlestick Park
Date:
December 20, 2011
Source:
NBC News

Abstract: The start of Monday Night Football at Candlestick Park in San Francisco was delayed when a transformer exploded just outside the stadium.

The start of the game was delayed for about 30 minutes.  The lights went out for a second time around 6:45 p.m. causing a second delay of game that lasted 16 minutes in the second quarter.

During both outages, ESPN showed aerial footage of fans sitting in their seats waiting for the lights to go back on. Fans remained calm according to reports from the scene

Multiple PG&E crews were on site to determine the cause, according to PG&E.

The transformer that exploded appeared to only provide power to the stadium. No other parts of San Francisco were impacted.

Following the second outage, an official with the NFL told ESPN that if the power went out a third time, they would attempt to stay and finish the game Monday night. He said the game would be called if power could not be restored or if there was a threat to public safety during an outage (NBC News, 2011).

Title: Police Arrest 19-Year-Old In Connection With Post-NBA Game Shooting That Hurt 8
Date:
May 22, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: Police have arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with a shooting that wounded eight people shortly after the Thunder-Lakers NBA playoff game in Oklahoma City.

Police say Rodney Hill was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon, but no other details have been released.

A late-night fight in Oklahoma City that escalated into gunfire and left eight people injured -- one critically -- was not related to the Thunder-Lakers NBA playoff game that had just ended a few blocks away, police said.

"All we're hearing from some of the witnesses is there was pushing and shoving in the area," Capt. Dexter Nelson said. "Apparently a group of girls got into it with some guys. It was shortly thereafter that gunfire erupted."

Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman Lara O'Leary said seven people were taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds and that a pregnant woman was also taken to the hospital after she was assaulted in the scuffle.

Nelson said one of the shooting victims was in critical condition Tuesday and seven other people, including the pregnant woman hurt in the scuffle, were in good condition. He said it wasn't clear what sparked the shooting about 11:30 p.m. Monday or if anyone involved had been at the Chesapeake Energy Arena to see the Oklahoma City Thunder eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers to advance to the Western Conference finals.

Police are struggling to track down witnesses but are checking with nearby businesses that may have surveillance cameras that captured the fight and shooting.

Thunder spokesman Dan Mahoney issued a statement saying the violence "put a damper on what was otherwise an exciting night for Oklahoma City and the Thunder."

"We are in communication with the Oklahoma City Police Department to determine exactly what happened and if there was any way for it to be prevented," Mahoney said.

He said keeping fans safe is a top priority and the team will work with the city and police to review security and crowd control procedures and makes changes as needed (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Man Shot Outside Oakland Raiders-Arizona Cardinals Game
Date: August 18, 2012
Source:
NFL

Abstract: A fight turned into a shooting outside Friday night's 
Oakland Raiders-Arizona Cardinals game in Glendale, Ariz., the Arizona Republic first reported.


The newspaper said a man was shot in the stadium's northwest parking lot after a fight broke out during the third quarter of the Cardinals' 31-27 victory over the Raiders.

UPDATE: Police responded to a call from a man who said he had "accidently shot" another man in a parking lot near the stadium, according to a report by the Bay Area News Group. The men, who are both Arizona residents, had a verbal altercation that led to the shooting, Glendale Police spokeswoman Tracey Breeden said.

"The incident occurred approximately one hour before the conclusion of the Arizona Cardinals game, so there were very few people in the parking lot at the time of the shooting," Glendale Police said in a release obtained by NFL.com and NFL Network. "No other parties or individuals near the area sustained any injuries as a result of this incident."

The victim was transported to a local hospital and is currently in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said the incident appears to be fan-based and charges are potentially pending on both parties (NFL, 2012).

Title: Fans Possibly Exposed To Rabies After A Bat Swoops In During Last Friday’s Ravens Game
Date: August 23, 2012
Source:
CBS Baltimore

Abstract:  An unusual health warning goes out to Ravens fans. Some people in the stands at last Friday’s game against the Detroit Lions may have been exposed to rabies.

Denise Koch has more.

When Ravens fans filled the stadium for the season’s first home game, they didn’t expect to encounter any wildlife.

But in section 500, a bat swooped through in the midst of the game against the Lions.

“I didn’t know, first of all, that bats could fly that high up but I didn’t see the bat,” Dave Rabinowitz, who sits in section 500, said.

Now, Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) wants to warn people sitting in section 500 that they could be at risk for rabies.

“Bats can trasmit rabies to people. They’re very small and they have small teeth, so it’s possible that a person could get bitten by a bat and may not notice it right away because the bite is hard to distinguish,” Kim Mitchell, chief of Rabies and Vector-borne Diseases at the DHMH, said.

But fans say bats in the bleachers won’t keep them from cheering on the Ravens.

“I think it’s just a fluke, and as long as people get themselves followed up and checked up, then, so be it,” Ravens fan Bob Murray said.

Health officials say people should not be worried if they see bats flying around outside and they should only call their doctor if they’ve had direct contact with a bat.

In Maryland, more than 200 animals have been diagnosed with rabies to date this year, including 40 bats and one deer (CBS Baltimore, 2012).

Title: One Dead, One Wounded In Shooting Between Royals, Chiefs Stadiums
Date: September 15, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A man shot and wounded a female parking lot employee Friday between the stadiums that are home to the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals before killing himself, police said.

Officers were called to a parking area between Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium at 3:23 p.m. Friday, said Kansas City, Mo., police Sgt. Stacey Graves.

Graves said the woman was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Officers found the man in a car, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. The pair were both in their 40s and knew each other, but police did not elaborate on their relationship. Their names were not immediately released.

Witnesses said the man drove into the area in a silver Cadillac, several shots were fired and the man then turned the gun on himself in the car.

The shooting took place several hours before the scheduled start of the Royals' game against the Los Angeles Angels, which was played as scheduled.

The Royals issued a statement later Friday that said the team was "deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred in the parking lot outside Kauffman Stadium." They declined further comment out of respect for the family members (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Man Stabbed At Orange Madness
Date:
October 13, 2012
Source:
ESPN


Abstract:
Syracuse University ended its annual "Orange Madness" event at the Carrier Dome 30 minutes early after a man was stabbed during the celebration.

Police said the stabbing happened in an arena concourse at around 9:30 p.m. Friday.

The 25-year-old male victim was in stable condition at Upstate University Hospital, Syracuse police Sgt. Tom Connellan told the Syracuse Post-Standard.

"We were saddened to learn of the incident at the Dome last night," Syracuse chancellor Nancy Cantor and athletic director Daryl Gross said in a statement. "There is no place and no tolerance for anything like this, and future Orange Madness events will be designed to prevent incidents such as this. We are proud of the terrific partnership among Syracuse City Police, SU Department of Public Safety, and Carrier Dome security staff, and we are confident that their work will continue to maintain a safe and secure environment for our patrons who come to the Dome to enjoy the hard work and efforts of our student-athletes."

Connellan tells reporters there were at least 15,000 people at the event, which celebrates the start of the basketball season.

He says the decision to cut the party short came after there were several fights.

Connellan says that neither the fights, nor the stabbing, were believed to involve Syracuse students (ESPN, 2012).

Title: Fan Stabbed Outside Candlestick Park At Giants-49ers Game
Date:
October 15, 2012
Source:
NFL


Abstract:
A fan suffered non-fatal injuries when he was stabbed outside Candlestick Park on Sunday, shortly after the start of Sunday's game between the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

San Francisco police confirmed to NFL.com and NFL Network that a fan was stabbed after an altercation and is expected to survive. Police arrested two suspects minutes after the stabbing.

According to the Chronicle, the 27-year-old victim was with five friends -- all 49ers fans -- when they were approached by another group of 49ers fans near the stadium's southwestern side. The groups then got into an argument before a suspect allegedly stabbed the victim in the torso.

Two suspects were arrested two blocks from the site of the stabbing. Officers from the San Francisco police's Gang Task Force are investigating the incident (NFL, 2012).

Title: Fan Attacks Chris Kirkland During Game
Date:
October 19, 2012
Source:
ESPN

Abstract:
Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland was attacked Friday by a Leeds fan who entered the field after an equalizing goal in the Yorkshire derby in the second-tier English Championship.

The fan appeared to punch Kirkland in the wake of Michael Tonge's 77th-minute equalizer, while unsavory chanting also marred the night.

Wednesday manager Dave Jones called for Leeds fans to be banned from "every away ground."

"They are vile animals," Jones said. "You talk about racism, the chanting, that's a form of racism."

The offending fan has been identified by police. The suspect, who has been named on social media sites but not by police, has yet to be arrested.

"We are dealing with the complaint made by the player and we are currently taking statements, collating evidence and making inquiries to locate and arrest the offender," said South Yorkshire Police senior investigating officer Mark Monteiro. "We are also using CCTV footage from around the ground to identify suspects who may have been responsible for other offenses before, during or after the match."

Leeds manager Neil Warnock called for Kirkland's assailant to be given a prison sentence as he described the events at Hillsborough as "an absolute disgrace."

"I felt embarrassed to be a manager when I saw that," Warnock told Sky Sports 1. "I thought it was an absolute disgrace. I think they should get the guy and prosecute him and put him in prison. (Kirkland) went down like a ton of bricks, but that doesn't make a difference. Nobody should be on the pitch doing that.

"I hope we can make an absolute issue of it. He spoiled everything for everyone. I've not enjoyed that when I see a moron like that. I am not proud of being Leeds manager when I see that. I don't mind the rivalry between us -- there was a great atmosphere. To see things like that on the field of play, there is no place for it -- I am absolutely embarrassed."

With Kirkland grounded, the man returned to the stand among other away fans, while a number of other visiting fans ran on and off the pitch. Bottles also were thrown onto the pitch from the away end.

Support staff was quickly on hand to attend to Kirkland, who was treated for some time but completed the match, although he was visibly shaken.

"He's sore," Jones said. "If he'd have stayed down, I wonder what would have happened. I have an ill goalkeeper. They should be punished."

Refusing to accept just one Leeds fan had been in the wrong, regarding the chants that rang out midway through the first half, Jones said: "It wasn't just one chanting. That was from their area, too. I've had it for 12 years. It's just upsetting that they're allowed to do it. They should be banned from every away ground."

Jones went on to criticize Warnock for allowing his players to clap at the fans at the end of the 1-1 match.

"And then to go and wave at them ... not in my book. You don't wave at them after that," Jones said.

Warnock defended the majority of his team's fans.

"Dave was saying we shouldn't thank the crowd, but our crowd were fantastic but we've got one moron and I can't tolerate that," he said. "... All of them apart from one moron were excellent tonight."

A large number of the Leeds fans sang about the child-abuse charges Jones once faced (the charges were dropped), while former broadcaster Sir Jimmy Savile, now the subject of a similar police investigation, seemed to be heralded in song.

The Wednesday fans also stoked things up with songs about the two Leeds fans killed in Turkey in April 2000, with the Leeds supporters responding by throwing bottles onto the field and clashing with police.

"I thought it had gone out of our game. The authorities have to look at it and sort it," Jones said. "I'm talking about an incident when we should be talking about the football. We're talking about vile animals. That's what they are. We talk about racism, but that, we need to sort that."

Leeds issued a statement after the game pledging to hunt down the man involved in the Kirkland incident.

"Leeds United Football Club would like to publicly apologize and condemn the action of the fan who came on the pitch and attacked Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland. The club will fully co-operate with the police and the football authorities in identifying the individual concerned," the statement said.

Warnock said the police were not to blame for the lapse in security.

"If you've got a moron who wants to get past the police to run on the pitch, no police, no matter how many you get, you're not going to stop him," Warnock said. "Get it custodial, get him sent to prison and stop it" (ESPN, 2012).

Title: Chaos At Event At Nassau Coliseum
Date:
October 28, 2012
Source:
My Fox NY

Abstract:
As many as 100 teenagers required medical treatment and a man who landed a helicopter near the crowd was arrested as a rave event at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum descended into chaos.

The event, called Haunted Coliseum, was billed as an electronic dance music event.

It was supposed to feature Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso and Otto knows.  It was shut down after only about an hour.

Nassau County police say they received several 911 calls for intoxicated youths at the event.  While detectives and officers were at the scene investigating as many as 100 intoxicated youths between the ages of 14 and 18, a man attempted to land a Bell helicopter on a grassy area on the west side of the coliseum.

Police say the landing had to be aborted due to people walking in the area.  They say the pilot, Michael Croissant, 44, then returned and landed on the grassy area, despite at least 20 people being in the area.

Police arrested Croissant and seized his helicopter.

The intoxicated youths were transported to several Nassau County hospitals by Nassau County Fire Department and private ambulances.  Police said there were no reports of fatalities but the conditions of the victim's was unknown.

The event's Facebook page was flooded with angry comments from people who complained of disorganization.  Many posts were from people demanding refunds (My Fox NY, 2012).

Title: Redskins' Shanahan Victim of Theft in Pittsburgh
Date:
November 15, 2012
Source:
ABC News

Abstract:
The Washington Redskins say coach Mike Shanahan had money and a passport stolen from the locker room during the road game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last month.

Redskins director of security Ed Burke released a statement Thursday saying that officers in Pittsburgh insisted on filing a police report and that the investigation is ongoing.

The Redskins lost 27-12 to the Steelers on Oct. 28 (ABC News, 2012).

Title: Family Identifies Man Found Dead After Bills Game
Date:
November 16, 2012
Source:
Webster Post


Abstract:
Police say they've found the body of a 26-year-old man who was reported missing after attending Thursday night's Buffalo Bills game.

Family identify the victim as David Gerken Jr. He was found face down in a creek Friday near Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park.
    
According to his family, Gerken left the stadium around halftime. Shortly after Gerken left, he called his brother and told him he will meet him at a bar after the game. According to the family, Gerken started walking across a field and climbed a fence from which he fell and hit his head. His body was located in a creek.

Gerken worked at Heritage Packaging in Victor, according to his family. He was employee of the month in August (Webster Post, 2012).

Title: Kansas City Chiefs Player Kills Self At Arrowhead Stadium After Fatally Shooting Girlfriend, Police Say
Date:
December 1, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: It began like any other Saturday for the Kansas City Chiefs during the NFL season, their general manager and coach at work early to put final touches on this weekend's gameplan. Then they got a call to hurry to the parking lot.

The two men rushed through the glass doors of Chiefs headquarters and came face-to-face with linebacker Jovan Belcher, holding a handgun to his head.

Belcher had already killed his girlfriend and sped the short distance to Arrowhead Stadium, right past a security checkpoint guarding the entrance. Upon finding his bosses, Belcher thanked general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel for giving him a chance in the NFL. Then he turned away and pulled the trigger.

The murder-suicide shocked a franchise that has been dealing with controversies now made trivial by comparison: eight consecutive losses, injuries too numerous to count, discontent among fans and the prospect that Pioli and Crennel could be fired at season's end.

Authorities did not release a possible motive while piecing together the case, other than to note that Belcher and his girlfriend, 22-year-old Kasandra M. Perkins, had been arguing frequently.

The two of them left behind a 3-month-old girl. She was being cared for by family.

The Chiefs issued a statement that said their game Sunday afternoon against the Carolina Panthers would go on as scheduled, even as the franchise tried to come to grips with the awfulness of Belcher's death.

"The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today's events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said in brief a statement.

A spokesman for the team told The Associated Press that Crennel plans to coach on Sunday.

"I can tell you that you have absolutely no idea what it's like to see someone kill themselves," said Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who spoke to Pioli shortly after the shootings.

"You can take your worst nightmare and put someone you know and love in that situation, and give them a gun and stand three feet away and watch them kill themselves. That's what it's like," James said. "It's unfathomable."

The 25-year-old Belcher was from West Babylon, N.Y., and played college football at Maine. He signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent, made the team and hung around the past four years, eventually moving into the starting lineup. He played in all 11 games this season.

The NFL released a statement expressing sympathy and pledging "to provide assistance in any way that we can." The players' association has also been in touch with members of the Chiefs.

"We sincerely appreciate the expressions of sympathy and support we have received from so many in the Kansas City and NFL communities, and ask for continued prayers for the loved ones of those impacted," Hunt said. "We will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities and work to ensure that the appropriate counseling resources are available to all members of the organization."

The drama unfolded early Saturday when authorities received a call from a woman who said her daughter had been shot multiple times at a residence about five miles from the Arrowhead complex. The call came from Belcher's mother, who referred to the victim as her daughter.

"She treated Kasandra like a daughter," Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp said, adding that the women had recently moved in with the couple, "probably to help out with the baby."

Police then got a phone call from the Chiefs' training facility, and Belcher's description matched the suspect description from the initial address. Snapp said officers pulled into the practice facility parking lot in a matter of minutes, in time to witness the suicide.

"Pioli and Crennel and another coach or employee was standing outside and appeared to be talking to him," Snapp said. "The suspect began to walk in the opposite direction of the coaches and the officers and that's when they heard the gunshot. It appears he took his own life."

The coaches told police they never felt in any danger.

"They said the player was actually thanking them for everything they'd done for him," Snapp said. "He was thanking them and everything. That's when he walked away and shot himself."

Members of the Chiefs laid low Saturday, but a few of them reacted on Twitter.

"I am devastated by this mornings events," Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali wrote. "I want to send my thoughts and prayers out to everyone effected by this tragedy."

A large group of Belcher's friends and relatives gathered Saturday at his boyhood home on Long Island.

His family turned the front yard into a shrine, with a large poster of Belcher, an array of his trophies, and jerseys and jackets from Kansas City, Maine and West Babylon High.

"He was a good, good person ... a family man. A loving guy," said family friend Ruben Marshall, who said he coached Belcher in youth football. "You couldn't be around a better person."

At least 20 people gathered for a large group hug in the driveway.

"He was a tremendous player and all those things, and his accolades speak for themselves, but he lit up when he spoke about his mom, or when he hugged his family after games," said Dwayne Wilmot, who was Belcher's position coach at Maine and is now an assistant coach at Yale.

"It's difficult to talk about Jovan in the past tense," he told the AP. "There's going to be unanswered questions, the why's of this tragedy. It'll never be truly known to us."

Wilmot said he'd stayed in touch with Belcher the past few years through social media.

"He was someone who took genuine pleasure in bringing happiness to others," Wilmot said. "I was so excited when he became a father, because I knew he'd be a great father."

His girlfriend's Facebook page shows the couple smiling and holding the baby.

Belcher is the latest among several players and NFL retirees to die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds during the past few years. The death of star linebacker Junior Seau, who shot himself in the chest in at his California home last May, sent shockwaves around the league.

Seau's family, like those of other suicide victims, donated his brain tissue to medical authorities to determine if head injuries he sustained playing football might be linked to his death. That report has not been released, although an autopsy showed no underlying hemorrhaging or bruises on Seau's brain.

Belcher did not have an extensive injury history, though he was listed as having a head injury on a report from Nov. 11, 2009. Belcher played four days later against the Oakland Raiders.

Earlier this year, the NFL provided a grant to help establish an independently operated phone service that connects players, coaches, team officials and other staff with counselors trained to work through personal and emotional crises. The NFL Life Line is available 24 hours a day.

The season has been a massive disappointment for the Chiefs, who were expected to contend for the AFC West title. They're 1-10 and mired in an eight-game skid marked by injuries, poor play and fan upheaval. During the past few weeks there have been constant calls for Pioli and Crennel to be fired.

It's unknown how the Chiefs plan to pay tribute to Belcher during Sunday's game.

"His move to the NFL was in keeping with his dreams," said Jack Cosgrove, who coached Belcher at Maine. "This is an indescribably horrible tragedy" (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Man In Serious Condition After Falling From Upper Deck At Oakland Raiders Game
Date:
December 7, 2012
Source:
My Fox DC

Abstract: Police say a man fell from the upper deck at Oakland Coliseum during Thursday's Raiders-Broncos game and is in serious condition at a hospital.

Oakland police Officer Kevin McDonald says the man fell from the third deck on to the concrete of the lower concourse at about 5:30 p.m., shortly after kickoff.

McDonald says initial reports called the fall an accident, but it remains under investigation.

He says the man is at a hospital and listed in serious condition, but had no further information on his injuries or identity.

The Raiders, who lost to the Broncos 26-13, issued a statement saying the team had no information beyond what authorities are releasing, but the their thoughts and prayers are with the man and his family and friends (My Fox DC, 2012).

Title: 81 Dead In Twin Suicide Blasts On Billiards Hall
Date:
January 10, 2013
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: series of bombings killed 115 people across Pakistan on Thursday, including 81 who died in twin blasts on a bustling billiards hall in a Shiite area of the southwestern city of Quetta.

Pakistan's minority Shiite Muslims have increasingly been targeted by radical Sunnis who consider them heretics, and a militant Sunni group claimed responsibility for Thursday's deadliest attack -- sending a suicide bomber into the packed pool hall and then detonating a car bomb five minutes later.

It was one of the deadliest days in recent years for a country that is no stranger to violence from radical Islamists, militant separatists and criminal gangs.

Violence has been especially intense in southwest Baluchistan province, where Quetta is the capital and the country's largest concentration of Shiites live. Many are ethnic Hazara who migrated from neighboring Afghanistan.

The billiards hall targeted Thursday was located in an area dominated by the minority sect. In addition to the 81 dead, more than 120 people were wounded in the double bombing, said police officer Zubair Mehmood. The dead included police officers, journalists and rescue workers who responded to the initial explosion.

Ghulam Abbas, a Shiite who lives about 150 yard from the billiards hall, said he was at home with his family when the first blast occurred. He was trying to decide whether to head to the scene when the second bomb went off.

"The second blast was a deafening one, and I fell down," he said. "I could hear cries and minutes later I saw ambulances taking the injured to the hospital."

Hospitals and a local mortuary were overwhelmed as the dead and wounded arrived throughout the evening. Weeping relatives gathered outside the emergency room at Quetta's Civil Hospital. Inside the morgue, bodies were laid out on the floor.

The bombs severely damaged the three-story building where the pool hall was located and set it on fire. It also damaged nearby shops, homes and offices.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a Sunni militant group with strong ties to the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack. Hazara Shiites, who migrated from Afghanistan more than a century ago, have been the targets of dozens of attacks by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Quetta over the past year, but Thursday's was by far the bloodiest.

Human Rights Watch sharply criticized the Pakistani government for not doing enough to crack down on the killings and protect the country's vulnerable Shiite community. It said more than 400 Shiites were killed in targeted attacks in Pakistan in 2012, including over 120 in Baluchistan.

"2012 was the bloodiest year for Pakistan's Shia community in living memory and if this latest attack is any indication, 2013 has started on an even more dismal note," said Ali Dayan Hasan, Pakistan director at Human Rights Watch.

"As Shia community members continue to be slaughtered in cold blood, the callousness and indifference of authorities offers a damning indictment of the state, its military and security agencies," Hasan said. "Pakistan's tolerance for religious extremists is not just destroying lives and alienating entire communities, it is destroying Pakistani society across the board."

Pakistan's intelligence agencies helped nurture Sunni militant groups like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in the 1980s, to counter a perceived threat from neighboring Iran, which is mostly Shiite. Pakistan banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in 2001, but the group continues to operate fairly freely.

Earlier Thursday, a bomb targeting paramilitary soldiers in a commercial area in Quetta killed 12 people and wounded more than 40 others.

The bomb was concealed in a bag and placed near a vehicle carrying paramilitary soldiers, said Akbar Hussain Durrani, the provincial interior secretary. The bag was spotted by a local resident, but before the soldiers could react, it was detonated by remote control.

The United Baluch Army, a separatist group, claimed responsibility for the attack in calls to local journalists. Pakistan has faced a violent insurgency in Baluchistan for years from nationalists who demand greater autonomy and a larger share of the country's natural resources.

Elsewhere in Pakistan, a bomb in a crowded Sunni mosque in the northwest city of Mingora killed 22 people and wounded more than 70, said senior police officer Akhtar Hayyat.

No group claimed responsibility for that attack, but suspicion fell on the Pakistani Taliban, which has waged a bloody insurgency against the government in the Swat Valley, where Mingora is located, and other parts of the northwest.

Pakistan is also home to many enemies of the U.S. who Washington has frequently targeted with drone attacks. A U.S. missile strike in the northwest tribal region Thursday killed five suspected militants in the seventh such attack in two weeks, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The recent spate of strikes has been one of the most intense in the past two years, a period in which political tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan led to a reduced number of attacks compared to 2010, when they were at their most frequent.

It's unclear whether the current uptick has been caused by particularly valuable intelligence obtained by the CIA, or whether the warming of relations between the two countries has made strikes less sensitive. Protests by the government and Islamic hard-liners have been noticeably muted.

The strike on Thursday occurred in a village near Mir Ali, one of the main towns in the North Waziristan tribal area, said Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Falcons Fan Stabbed In Throat In Parking Lot After NFC Championship Game
Date:
January 21, 2013
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: An Atlanta Falcons fan is reportedly in stable condition after he was stabbed in the throat during an altercation in the Georgia Dome parking lot following the NFC Championship game Sunday.

MyFoxAtlanta.com reports the 35-year-old victim apparently got into a verbal altercation with a man and two women who were rooting for the 49ers, who beat the Falcons 28-24.

Authorities say the argument turned violent, and one of the 49ers fans apparently cut the victim's throat.

The victim is recovering at a local hospital. Police say they aren't sure whether all or any of the people involved in the incident actually attended the game (Fox News, 2013).

Title: Super Bowl XLVII Blackout: Power Outage Leaves Superdome Dark
Date:
February 3, 2013
Source:
Bleacher Report

Abstract: T
he Baltimore Ravens defeated San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII, but it was the power outage early in the third quarter in the Mercedez-Benz Superdome that has been driving the most buzz.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7:51 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

It is now being reported on ESPN.com that officials were worried about a potential power outage in the Superdome prior to Super Bowl XLVII.

An Oct. 15 memo released by the Louisiana Stadium & Exposition District, which oversees the Superdome, says tests on the dome's electrical feeders showed they had "some decay and a chance of failure."

Entergy New Orleans, the company that supplies the stadium with power, and the structure's engineering staff "had concerns regarding the reliability of the Dome service from Entergy's connection point to the Dome," the memo says. Those concerns were due in part to "circumstances that have previously occurred with the electrical service regarding transient spikes and loads"...

..."As discussed in previous board meetings, this enhancement is necessary to maintain both the Superdome and the New Orleans Arena as top tier facilities, and to ensure that we do not experience any electrical issues during the Super Bowl," says a LSED document dated Dec. 19.

---End of update---

UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 4, at 12:51 a.m. EST by Tim Keeney

After hours of wondering how it happened, Rachel Nichols finally gave us the official reason for the blackout:

Superdome statement on why the lights went out: "Shortly after the beginning of the second half of the Super Bowl, a piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system. Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue" (Bleacher Report, 2013).

Title: Syria Soccer Player Killed As Mortars Hit Stadium
Date:
February 20, 2013
Source:
Huffington Post

Abstract: Russia and the Arab League proposed Wednesday to broker talks between the Syrian opposition and President Bashar Assad's regime to try to resolve the country's civil war, while a government airstrike on a rebellious Damascus suburb killed at least 20 people.

The 23-month-old conflict in Syria, which has killed more than 70,000 people and laid waste to the country's cities, has repeatedly defied international efforts to bring the parties together to end the bloodshed. Wednesday's offer from Moscow, one of Assad's closest allies, suggested the regime could be warming to the idea of a settlement as it struggles to hold territory and claw back ground it has lost.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Kremlin and the Arab League are attempting to establish direct contact between the Syrian regime and the opposition. Sitting down at the negotiating table is the only way to end the conflict without irreparably damaging Syria, he said.

"Neither side can allow itself to rely on a military solution to the conflict, because it's a road to nowhere, a road to mutual destruction of the people," Lavrov said in Moscow, where he hosted league officials and several Arab foreign ministers.

Both Lavrov and Arab League General Secretary Nabil Elaraby said their main priority was creating a transitional government in Syria to navigate a way out of the conflict.

No conditions for the Syrian negotiations have been set. Lavrov said both sides' readiness to begin talks was "the most important thing."

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem will lead a delegation to Moscow on Monday, and Russia is expecting a visit in March from the opposition Syrian National Coalition leader, Mouaz al-Khatib.

Al-Khatib has said he is open to talks with the regime that could pave the way for Assad's departure, but that the Syrian leader must first release tens of thousands of detainees. The government has refused.

Russia's proposal Wednesday got a cool reception from the opposition.

"We cannot agree to that," said Abdelbaset Sieda, a senior member of the Syrian National Coalition. "Assad and his group must go first. After that we can discuss with others in the regime who didn't share in the killing of our people."

Still, Wednesday's proposal was notable because it emanated from Russia – Assad's chief advocate on the international stage. It is unlikely that Moscow would publicly propose to host talks without having first secured Damascus' word that it would indeed sit down with the opposition.

The timing also might mean the regime is showing a willingness to negotiate.

Syria's rebels have notched a series of tactical victories in recent weeks, capturing the nation's largest hydroelectric dam and overtaking airbases in the northeast. They also have cut off a key highway in Damascus and are making forays to within a mile of the heart of the heavily guarded capital.

The air raid Wednesday hit the Damascus suburb of Hamouriyeh, killing at least 20 people, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. More people were believed to be buried under the debris.

Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, put the death toll higher, saying up to 35 were killed and dozens more were wounded.

Amateur videos posted online showed several vehicles on fire as thick black smoke billowed from a street. The videos show the bodies of two people, who were burned, in a pickup truck and the charred corpse of another person lying on the ground.

The videos appeared genuine and corresponded to other reporting on the events by The Associated Press.

Earlier Wednesday, two mortars crashed into a sports complex in the normally calm neighborhood of Baramkeh in central Damascus, killing one soccer player and wounding three more.

The mortar attack was the second in as many days in Damascus. On Tuesday, two mortars exploded near one of Assad's palaces, but no one was hurt.

The state news agency said the mortars that hit a complex housing Tishrin Stadium and a hotel killed Youssef Suleiman from al-Wathbah club based in Homs. He was wounded inside the hotel as players were getting ready for practice and died later at a hospital.

Suleiman, a striker, had played internationally on one of Syria's national youth teams. His teammates said he was the father of a 6-month-old baby.

State TV broadcast video of what it said was the hotel. The explosion blew out the windows on the first floor of the building, and shattered glass covered three beds in one of the rooms in which a bloodied duffle bag lay on the floor.

"We were collecting our things about to head to the stadium when we heard the first explosion and the windows were blown off," said Ali Ghosn, a 20-year-old al-Wathbah player.

"Youssef was hit in the neck. We ran out to the corridor when the second explosion struck and I saw Youssef fall down bleeding from his neck," he told the AP in Damascus as some of his colleagues wept.

The attack occurred a few hours before the team was to play the Hama-based al-Mawaair club in Syria's domestic league, which has been delayed several times because of the violence. The game was postponed after the mortar strike.

The nine-team league got under way just last week with all matches scheduled to be played in the heavily guarded capital in front of empty stands.

Assad has tried to maintain an image as the head of a functioning state even as rebels edge closer to his seat of power and targeted attacks suggest rebels may be trying to shatter the sense of normalcy he has tried to portray in the capital.

Also Wednesday, Syrian rebel army chief Gen. Salim Idriss told Al-Arabiya TV that if the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah does not end its involvement in Syrian towns near the border, "the Free Syrian Army will pound Hezbollah's positions with all the weapons it has."

Syrian activists have said that Hezbollah fighters clashed with rebels in Sunni and Shiite villages just inside Syria over the weekend.

A local Lebanese official in Hermel, near the border, said Hezbollah fighters had entered Syria to protect the Shiite villages. Two of them were killed, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss Hezbollah matters (Huffington Post, 2013).

Title: 200mph Daytona Crash Injures 30 Fans As Debris Flies Into Crowd
Date:
February 24, 2013
Source:
Mirror

Abstract: A horrifying 200mph crash on the last lap of a race at Daytona International Speedway injured at least 30 fans yesterday.

The victims were sprayed with large chunks of debris - including a tyre - after newcomer Kyle Larson's machine hit fencing that is designed to protect the massive grandstands lining Nascar's most famous track.

The fencing served its primary purpose, catapulting what was left of Larson's car back on to the track. But it did not keep potentially lethal shards from flying into the stands.

"I love the sport," said Shannan Devine, who witnessed the carnage from her 19th-row seat, about 250 feet away. "But no one wants to get hurt over it.

"There was absolute shock. "People were saying, 'I can't believe it, I can't believe it. I've never seen this happen, I've never seen this happen. Did the car through the fence?'

"It was just shock and awe. Grown men were reaching out and grabbing someone, saying, 'Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!' It was just disbelief, absolute disbelief."

The Daytona crash began as the field approached the checkered flag and leader Regan Smith attempted to block Brad Keselowski. That triggered a chain reaction, and Larson hit the cars in front of him and went airborne into the fence.

The entire front end was sheared off Larson's car, and his burning engine was wedged through a gaping hole in the fence. Chunks of debris from the car were thrown into the stands, including a tyre that cleared the top of the fence and landed midway up the spectator section closest to the track.

"I thought the car went through the fence," Ms Devine said. "I didn't know if there was a car on top of people. I didn't know what to think.

"I'm an emotional person. I immediately started to cry. It was very scary, absolutely scary. I love the speed of the sport. But it's so dangerous."

The fencing used to protect seating areas and prevent cars from hurtling out of tracks has long been part of the debate over how to improve safety.

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti lost close friend Dan Wheldon at Las Vegas in the 2011 IndyCar season finale, when Wheldon's car catapulted into the fencing and his head struck a support post. Since his death, IndyCar drivers have called for studies on how to improve the safety barriers.

Franchitti renewed the pleas on Twitter after the Daytona crash, writing "it's time (at)Indycar (at)nascar other sanctioning bodies & promoters work on an alternative to catch fencing. There has to be a better solution".

Another fan who witnessed the crash said he has long worried that sizable gaps in the fencing increase the chances of debris getting through to the stands.

"I've always thought the netting was very wide and pieces could fly through," said Lenny Brown, who was attending races at Daytona for the fourth time.

Workers scurried to patch up the damaged fencing and left little doubt that the biggest race of the weekend, the Daytona 500, would go on as planned.

Mr Brown, who saw the crash from his 38th-row seat in the Petty grandstand, said he would be back in the same section for the season-opening Sprint Cup event. He has no qualms about his safety, sitting so high up, but said he would think twice about the seats he had for the race two years ago.

"The last time I was here, we were only about six rows up," Mr Brown said. "I had even told some people before the crash, 'I would never sit that close to the track ever again."'

But someone surely will - mindful of the risks but eager to be among more than 100,000 fans cheering on stock car racing's biggest stars.

"Here we are, paying money to sit next to cars going 195 mph," Ms Devine said. "We do it because we love it. That's what we expect."

From Daytona to Le Mans to a rural road in Ireland, auto racing spectators have long been too close to the action when parts start flying. The crash in the second-tier Nationwide race follows a long list of accidents that have left fans dead or injured.

The most tragic incident occurred during the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans, when two cars collided near the main stands. The wreck sent debris hurtling into the crowd, while one of the cars flipped upside down and exploded in a giant fireball.

Eighty-three spectators and driver Pierre Levegh were killed, and 120 fans were injured (Mirror, 2013).

Title: Suicide Bomber Strikes Buzkashi Fans In Northern Afghanistan, Causing Casualties
Date:
March 13, 2013
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: Afghan officials say several people have been killed and injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of sports fans watching a buzkashi game in northern Afghanistan.

Amanddin Quriashi, a senior official in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province, says the district police chief is among the wounded in Wednesday's bombing.

Kunduz province police chief Gen. Mohammad Khalil Andarabi says the father of the speaker of the Afghan parliament was among those killed in the attack.

The provincial police chief's Sayed Sarwar Hussaini has confirmed the suicide attack but says the number of casualties is still being determined.

The crowd was watching a game of buzkashi, a traditional Afghan sport akin to polo, where players on horseback use a headless goat carcass instead of a ball (Fox News, 2013).

Title: 2 Killed In Crash At California Raceway, Officials Say
Date:
March 17, 2013
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: Two people were killed after a speeding race car ran off a track and into pit row during warm-up laps at a California raceway Saturday evening, authorities said.

Fox40.com reports that the two, a 14-year-old boy and a 68-year-old man, were walking in the pit area at Marysville Raceway Park when a winged sprint car crashed into them.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene at the raceway some 40 miles north of Sacramento, and the boy was declared dead either at the hospital or in an ambulance, Yuba County Sheriff's Capt. Ron Johnson told the Marysville Appeal-Democrat newspaper.

The Yuba County Sheriff's Department identified the man as Dale Wondergem Jr., of Grass Valley, and the boy as Marcus Johnson, of Santa Rosa.

Marcus Johnson is the cousin of the 17-year-old driver Chase Johnson, who was not injured in the collision. Wondergem owned a race car at the track, but not the one involved in the crash, according to Undersheriff Jerry Read.

The two were part of a crew and had a right to be in the pit area, but said no more about their roles, Johnson said.

The raceway was hosting the California Sprint Car Civil War Series on the opening day of its season.

Steven Blakesley, the announcer calling the race from the stands, said the sprint cars were doing so-called "hot laps" about an hour before the race when a car driven by Chase Johnson, traveling at about 90 mph, couldn't make a turn.

"There must have been a mechanical problem," Blakesley said. "The car didn't slow down. "

Blakesley said the car ran through a gap between the track and pit row, hit an empty golf-style cart then ran out of the view of the stands, where fans were mostly silent and left to speculation about what was happening.

He said the next thing he was able to see was CPR being performed on two people, and later a body being covered and crime scene tape going up.

The bio on Chase Johnson's website said he's a senior at Petaluma High School north of San Francisco and is a fourth generation race car driver.

Blakesley said Chase Johnson had been driving for two years already, and many on the sprint car circuit, seen as a stepping stone to higher levels like NASCAR, began as young as 15 as Johnson did.

He said others on the circuit, where small, high-powered cars race on short dirt ovals, were older drivers whose careers had peaked earlier.

The Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol were investigating to determine the cause of the crash, Ron Johnson said. The Sheriff's Department also serves as the county's coroner and would determine the identities and official cause of death for the two victims, he said.

An outgoing message on the track's phone line said only that Saturday's race had been canceled, and a message left for a raceway spokesman was not immediately returned.

The race track fatalities come less than a month after a crash on the last lap of a race at Daytona International Speedway injured at least 30 fans Feb. 23. The victims were sprayed with large chunks of debris -- including a tire -- after a car careened into the fencing that is designed to protect the massive grandstands lining the track.

At another NASCAR race in 2009 at Talladega, the crowd was showered with debris and seven fans were injured when a car sailed upside-down into the front-stretch fence on a furious dash to the finish line, showering the stands with debris. Seven fans sustained minor injuries.

And in 2010 at a National Hot Rod Association event in Chandler, Ariz., a woman was killed by a tire that flew off a crashing dragster at Firebird International Raceway (Fox News, 2013).