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Last Friday, the Philadelphia Daily News reported that a  Boorish fan intentionally vomits on cop’s kid at a Phillies game. It’s one of those stories that even now leave you shaking your head. First a group of louts abused the family in front of them, then one spat on one of the girls, and then another, a Matthew Clemmens, put his fingers down his throat and threw up on the girl.

What struck me most was the sentence “Security officials escorted Clemmens’ pal — the spitter — out of the stadium.” That was it. Spitting on a child certainly counts as assault, and all he got for it was being forced to leave the game early. That will hardly dissuade him from acting so badly in the future, and it obviously didn’t deter his friend Matthew Clemmens from an even more violent assault.

Perhaps a  “broken windows” policy ought to be applied to public spaces like ballparks. Give a lout an inch and he’ll take a mile, so don’t give him the inch. If loutishness is punished by explulsion and assault by arrest, even the louts will start behaving better or stop coming to the park.

We don’t go to many sporting events, other than the family-friendly games of the Washington Wild Things (PA not DC), but I know families whose outings (often big deals for them because they don’t have the money to do it often)  have been ruined by louts like Clemmens. They deserve the protection of those responsible for maintaining order is such places.

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