Courts don't charge fan for Sheffield incident


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Court won't charge Sox fans for run-in with SheffieldAssociated Press

BOSTON -- Two Boston Red Sox fans who scuffled with New York Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield during a game last month won't be charged after a court dismissed the case Thursday for lack of evidence.

The clerk magistrate said there was no probable cause to charge Christopher House and Matthew Donovan with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. House and Donovan were ejected from Fenway Park on April 14 after House appeared to make contact with Sheffield as the player chased down a ball in the outfield.

"We're very pleased with the outcome, obviously," House's lawyer, Matthew McCarthy, told The Associated Press as he left the closed hearing in Boston Municipal Court.

Had the magistrate found probable cause, criminal charges would have been filed and the case referred to a judge.

Police had filed applications for criminal charges against House and Donovan, who apparently tossed a beer in Sheffield's direction during the scuffle.

Sheffield was chasing Jason Varitek's triple into the right-field corner when House reached over the 3-foot high fence, and Sheffield said he was hit in the face.

Sheffield picked up the ball, pushed House, then threw the ball to the infield. Sheffield turned toward House, but a security guard jumped over the wall and stood between the two.

House has denied making contact with Sheffield.

Red Sox officials revoked House's season tickets and banned Donovan from buying tickets this season.

"We've been cooperative with the Red Sox from the beginning," McCarthy said. "Hopefully at some point he'll get his tickets back."

House declined to comment after the hearing. As he headed into court he said: "I'm a private businessman. I intend to stay that way."

Donovan declined to comment.

Red Sox spokesman Charles Steinberg said in an e-mail that the team's focus is "on maintaining a comfortable environment at Fenway for players and fans alike."

The Suffolk District Attorney's Office and Boston police also didn't comment.

Like I said in the other thread, no contact from the fan could even be proven.

Now the fan should charge Sheffield with battery.

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