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May 7, 2015

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J. Patrick Coolican:

Metro’s blindness at soccer melee is a green light for more violence


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

A Chivas fan is beaten nearly unconscious by Club America fans after El Super Clasico soccer game Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at Sam Boyd Stadium.

J. Patrick Coolican

J. Patrick Coolican

Sun photographer Sam Morris showed great courage when he captured graphic images of the melee that broke out at the Chivas vs. Club America soccer match last week at Sam Boyd Stadium. If you haven’t seen the photos, you should. They are incredible.

Morris captured bloodied faces, victims stomped on, roundhouse kicks to the ribs, haymaker punches and one final jump from the stands into the body of a badly beaten victim.

These were merely the attacks captured during the game, on the field.

El Super Clasico - Chivas Fan Beaten

A Chivas fan lies motionless on the field after being beaten nearly unconscious by Club America fans after El Super Clasico soccer game Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at Sam Boyd Stadium. Launch slideshow »

Before the game, six fans were brought to local hospitals after fights between fans of the two teams, whose rivalry is akin to the Yankees and Red Sox.

As far as Metro Police is concerned, however, there was no crime committed at Sam Boyd Stadium that night.

Yes, you read that right. Metro did not make a single arrest, and they don’t plan on making any.

A Metro spokesperson says that because none of the victims stepped forward to file a report and press charges, there will be no arrests.

No victim, no crime.

This is wrong, morally and legally.

But as UNLV Boyd Law School’s Christopher Blakesley told me, “These were crimes against the state of Nevada and the people of Nevada.”

Yes, if I punch you, you are a victim deserving redress.

But I have also committed a crime against the community by sowing violence and discord. I haven’t broken your law. I have broken the law.

This is why when criminal charges are filed, they say, “State of Nevada v. …”

This is what separates us from cavemen, from atavistic societies of lawless personal retribution.

And, in this case, it’s easy to see that the soccer violence was a crime against all of us.

Here’s the message these crimes send to the community and the outside world: Sam Boyd Stadium isn’t a safe place to bring your family to a soccer match. That harms all of us.

As for Metro, what kind of message does their inaction send to these criminals?

That there are no consequences to savagely beating fans of a rival soccer club, even if you do it in a public space and are captured committing your crimes by a camera.

What are we, British?

That there are no consequences to running onto the field and fighting at Sam Boyd Stadium during a game.

That you can get away with bringing firecrackers into Sam Boyd Stadium.

These messages are all deeply damaging to our community fabric.

I understand that without victims and witnesses, these crimes would be difficult to solve, and that we’re dealing with immigrant communities that can be hesitant to assist police investigations.

But a defeatist mindset will merely intensify the criminals' assumption that they can intimidate victims and witnesses and prevent them from coming forward.

So it seems to me it’s worth a try. Put out the photos and video, as Metro often does in unsolved cases, and rely on the nine incident reports that were filed with Sam Boyd security officials.

If nothing else, at least we would be making a statement — that these attacks were criminal acts and will be not be tolerated.

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  1. You do realize you're talking about soccer, right? Riots and fights among fans are part of the "game".
    I totally support Metro in leaving them alone.

  2. It's always fun to click on a Coolican article and read the comments section :)

  3. Come on..wrong game, wrong color, wrong choice all the way around. Police know. Even as the fight went late into the night in the surrounding know if it were anyone else, the problems would have ended in arrests.

  4. Here is an article on fights/riots after college games.

    This wasn't much different - sports, crazy people, sports, crazy fans, sports, crazy "revelers," sports, "celebration," sports, crazy people.

  5. I am appalled that there were no arrests for this horrific display of barbaric behavior. That being said, when you look at the demographics of the fans, it's surprising to me that there were no guns or knives used or confiscated. Or, maybe they were used, and just unreported.

    In my opinion, this is cultural issue that affects everyone. I personally find it an affront to our country.

    There's a large majority of Hispanics who do not want to assimilate into the American society. They want America to accept their customs, language, and bend to their re-creation of their native country, within our country. Even if that means gangs, violence, and any other tradition they wish to express.

    The United States has accommodated them in ways other ethnic groups have not been. Press 1 for Spanish,all government forms, most private enterprises print in Spanish. A large part of our educational budgets are used to teach ESL classes. Why? Especially when we have 11+ million Hispanics here illegally! They have been given rights and privileges as though they are deserving and entitled. Why? Is this written in our Constitution?

    Now, our law enforcement is pandering to them. Why? The "fans" interviewed stated emphatically that when they saw the security was "lax" they PURPOSELY AND WILLFULLY CHOSE to break the law and bring in contraband. Where is their moral compass? CHOOSING to break the law just because they could get away with it? And, this is supposedly one of the most "religious" demographics of humanity?

    In Brazil, a referee is "stoned to death, quartered, and beheaded, with his head put on a stick in the middle of the soccer field." Is this NORMAL soccer game behavior?

    My parents were immigrants and could not speak English . They learned on their own. They would not speak their native language to us up to school age, as they did not want to have us confused in school so we could excel. Their English was broken, but it became my FIRST language. They didn't expect the school to provide ESL classes!

    We enjoyed all of our ethnic traditions within our home and family. We were all proud of our heritage and did not try to shove it down everyone else's throats. It was a matter of our hearts, not to be pushed upon society as though we were entitled to have this country bend to our culture!

  6. Part 2

    This situation is far deeper than this display at Sam Boyd Stadium. There is something inherently wrong with the United States bowing down to albeit a large immigrant (legal and MOSTLY illegal) people. No other country on earth tolerates this. And, this country was founded as a melting pot of all of those tired and poor seeking a new home.

    To try to re-create your native HOME here, in America, no matter what your ethnicity is, is Un-American. And, to willfully break the laws from illegal immigration down to the laws of a stadium sports game, should have severe consequences. Instead, this large ethnic group seems to feel they can hold this country hostage. Demanding laws to give them whatever they want. If you truly wanted a pathway to citizenship, then you would have chosen the legal way to obtain it.

    If you truly want to be part of the American society, you should RESPECT the laws, no matter how minor. But if you are taught no respect for the major laws of the land such as immigration, why should breaking the little ones be respected?

    Now our legislature is spending billions of dollars trying to decide what to do with so many illegals, building walls, securing borders, etc. Very easy solution:

    [1] use the billions of dollars to send them back to their native countries;

    [2]pass an amendment that states that no child born of illegal immigrants in the USA will be considered an American citizen. They are not. They are the product of illegal activity and should be assigned their parents' citizenship and deported upon birth with their parents;

    [3] all foreign aid to their country of origin is stopped, and/or the country of origin is billed for all of the expenses accumulated by these illegals up to the time of their deportation.

    America needs to get tough on CRIME and the CRIMINALS.

  7. While I am amazed at the lack of action on the part of Metro, I say, put the blame squarely on those to which it belongs (excepting the participants themselves, of course) and that is the Sam Boyd Stadium officials who okayed this "soccer" match. (BTW, now I know why they call it soccer, but it should be spelled sucker or socker.) Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows what soccer "fans" really are. They are brutes, plain & simple. Not a season goes by without riots, assaults and killings and the mopes in charge at Boyd hadn't a clue? They must be dumber than dirt!

  8. BY Metros reasoning DWI is a victimless crime unless someone is hurt.

  9. "I understand that without victims and witnesses, these crimes would be difficult to solve, and that we're dealing with immigrant communities that can be hesitant to assist police investigations."

    Pat, you are so quick to excuse the responsibility of community members who don't wear a badge in order to attack those who do its amazing. Without victims and witnesses, these crimes CAN'T be solved! See any name tags on those tattooed idiots beating each other?

    I've read all the accounts of that night and seen all the pics and video and here is an inconvenient fact for you; after the crowd decided to become violent and after backup arrived, the cops were still outnumbered 14,000 to 200. That's 70 to one. When the event went to Hell, the cops didn't have time to break off with individual arrests, they were surrounded with drunk, combative jerks and had to respond from fight to fight to fight. And had they shut down the event, you would have had even more violence from fans who no longer had their "match" to watch-it would have been even worse.

    You want to blame someone? The responsibility lies solely on the promoters and the head of Sam Boyd. According to reports over the last week, there was no planning to keep opposing fans separate. There were only a few event staff hired for the game and they were mostly over 70yrs old. Sam Boyd staff declined to perform bag checks so people could bring in fireworks, flares and bottles of booze. Sam Boyd staff allowed re-entry so people could leave, go to their cars, reload booze or weapons, and return. Sam Boyd staff declined to put staff on the field to keep people off the pitch. Hence, those wonderful photos of head wounds that will end up as exhibits in civil lawsuits against taxpayers and Sam Boyd. To refuse to offer these basic security measures is a negligence of unbelievable measure and the head of Sam Boyd should resign as a result. Then policies and training should be implemented, even if they cost precious money, to make sure this does not happen again.

    Why was this allowed? So the promoter and Sam Boyd bosses could make more profit by spending less on staff and police. Don't blame the overwhelmed cops for trying to stay on top of the fighting like Brad Pitt in World War Z. From all accounts it was either that or become swallowed by the violence. Blame the bosses who should have known better, prepared, and should have paid for what was needed instead of trying to fatten their pockets at the public's expense.

  10. The Philadelphia eagles had a jail at the vet when they played there. The prices in the new stadium are so high it has cut out most of the people who were just looking to drink & fight, but no sport is immune.

  11. There is such a thing as mutual combat. Although it pains me to admit it, I agree with Metro's position.

    This fracas is best filed under "mutual misadventure."