Fan Fined for Throwing Football in Chargers' Stadium Parking Lot

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2013

Fans will have to think twice about throwing a football around in the parking lot. Well, at least the fans in San Diego will after a recent incident at Qualcomm Stadium.

According to Matt Calkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune, 27-year-old Jesse Unger was ticketed for throwing a football in the parking lot before the San Diego Chargers hosted the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 14. Police officers had asked him to stop once, and he thought they were joking. They weren't.

When he continued to toss the ball around, he was cited for "playing ball." 

It's actually the first rule in the city's Parking Lot Policies and Procedures. It may seem ridiculous, but it's right there on the webpage:

Intentionally throw, discharge, launch, or spill any solid object (including footballs, baseballs, frisbees and other such devices) or liquid substance, or otherwise cause such object or substance to be thrown, discharged, launched, spilled, or to become airborne.

One officer reportedly suggested that Unger should frame the ticket because of how outrageous it was. 

Unger was initially told that it would be a $60 fine, but he saw online that it was actually $280. Given how preposterous the citation was, he decided to take it to court. The case was heard this past Tuesday.

There wasn't much Unger could do to build a case. However, the judge appeared to understand Unger's side.

The judge said that if Unger pleaded guilty, he would suspend the $75 ticket. That's when things got even better.

Here's a look at what was said in court, per Calkins:

“But the ticket is for $280 according to the court documents, Your Honor” Unger replied.

“Yes, but I think that is just ridiculous,” responded the judge.

“You and me both,” Unger muttered ... “I plead guilty to throwing the football, Your Honor.”

The ticket was dismissed, and Unger now has a funny story to tell. 

For those wondering, Tennessee's LP Field, Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium and Seattle's CenturyLink Field have similar policies on their websites, according to Calkins.

It's surprising that something like this actually made it to court, but at least the judge was reasonable enough to let the fan off without a penalty.