NEW YORK - Frank Martinez has watched his last New York Mets game in Shea Stadium.
The 40-year-old fan was banned from Mets home games for three years after pleading guilty Tuesday to shining a high-powered flashlight at a pair of Atlanta Braves players during an April 20 game. The Bronx man also must spend 15 days in jail as part of his sentence for interfering with a professional sporting event.
By the time Martinez can return, the Mets will be playing in a new stadium currently under construction behind Shea.
Martinez cannot watch the Mets in person at a home game until 2010.
“In a game in which the ball can travel upward of 110 mph, the defendant’s actions were dangerous to both spectators and players,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
Authorities say that Martinez, seated behind home plate, turned the beam on Braves pitcher Tim Hudson and shortstop Edgar Renteria. The Braves were leading 7-0 at the time.
Renteria complained to umpire Paul Emmel, who called time out and alerted security. The security officers removed Martinez and found the flashlight in his backpack, authorities said.
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