PNC Park in Pittsburgh is widely acclaimed as one of the best stadiums in baseball. Pristine. Intimate. Aesthetically appealing. On the water. And since the Pirates play there, odds are any game you attend won’t have much at stake (sorry, but the Pirates are the Pirates), so it’ll be a relaxing time. A lovely place to enjoy our national pastime – unless you get in a fight with a security guard and rip his finger off.
Reportedly, though, that’s exactly what happened at Saturday’s Astros-Pirates game at PNC, when 21-year-old Rachel George and her father, Christopher, got into a violent altercation with guard James Risher. Risher was trying to escort Rachel George from her seat for smoking. According to a criminal complaint, all hell quickly broke loose from there:
As Pirates security supervisor Joseph Risher was escorting her out of the right field gate, Ms. George’s unidentified boyfriend assaulted him and ran off. Ms. George jumped on the guard’s back and started to pull him backward, the complaint says.
Her father joined in the attack, pushing him up against a fence.
Either Risher was doing something way, way out of line that wasn’t reported and spurred on the rest of the fight (for the record, the Georges’ lawyer said Rachel George looked like “she had gone nine rounds with Mike Tyson,” in an apparent attempt to question the amount of force Risher used), or this is the least-heartwarming family ballpark experience since the Ligues. And it gets worse. A lot worse. Like, “stop reading right now if you’re squeamish” worse. Seriously, you’ve been warned. OK, here goes:
“While defending himself, Mr. Risher got his left hand caught on the fence, and when he was pulled by both (defendants) his left middle finger was ripped off at the second knuckle and was hanging by a piece of skin,” Detective Rende wrote in the complaint.
When you’re done vomiting, you’ll be able to feel a little better knowing Risher’s finger was reportedly later reattached. You will not feel better knowing the fighting didn’t even end when a man’s finger came off:
Ms. George cursed and spit on him. As Sgt. Sean Duffy, who intervened, was placing her in a holding cell at the ballpark she kicked him, prompting him to use a “palm strike” to the left side of her face. He said he felt a sharp pain in his right shoulder while doing this, requiring care at UPMC Mercy.
Good Lord. Even if Risher was hypothetically too forceful in making Rachel George leave her seat… how insane did these people go? Insane enough to get hit with aggravated assault, conspiracy, harassment, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness charges. Having a drink at the game? Fine. Hell, it’s tradition – a tradition that made this magical moment possible. Enough drinks to make you get like that, though? Not good. Not good at all. In fact, if you’re the type of person who risks getting like that after enough drinks, you should probably not do anything in public, ever. Clearly it’s destined to end poorly.