Daniel Neja Arrested After Trespassing in Tampa Bay Rowdies Stadium for 2 Weeks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2020

Inter Miami FC's Robbie Robinson (19) and Tampa Bay Rowdies' Forrest Lasso chase the ball during the first half of a preseason friendly soccer match Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

St. Petersburg Police arrested a man named Daniel Neja on Monday for allegedly breaking into the Tampa Bay RowdiesAl Lang Stadium and staying there for two weeks. 

According to TMZ Sports, police said the 39-year-old Neja, who is homeless, stayed inside a suite at the stadium and lived off food from the concession stands. He allegedly also stole team merchandise.

Neja is alleged to have taken $1,000 worth of team clothing and memorabilia and consumed $250 worth of concession items. He has been charged with burglary and was also charged with resisting after initially refusing to give his name during questioning.

Police were reportedly called to Al Lang Stadium after a cleaning crew found shaving cream and razors in the suite, and they arrested Neja upon arriving.

The Rowdies play in the USL Championship and have been in existence since 2008. They won the North American Soccer League title in 2012 but moved to the USL in 2017 and finished 12th in the league last season.

The coronavirus pandemic delayed the start of the 2020 season, but the Rowdies returned to action in July as part of a revamped group format for the USL. They are off to a 5-0-2 start and lead Group H.

Neja is still being held at Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Florida, on $5,150 bond.