A New York Yankees fan who experienced a brutal brand of justice after storming the field at Yankee Stadium this week has apologized for antics that have led to criminal charges.
Leonardo Lertora-Leiva, 25, told the New York Post in a phone call that he regrets his “stupid” stunt during the Yankees’ game Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. Letora added that his trespassing resulted from a “lapse in judgment.”
“I would like to apologize,” said the lifelong Yankees fan from Cos Cob, Conn. “It was something stupid.”
The incident occurred during the top of the sixth inning when Lertora-Leiva sneaked onto the field. While some fans at Yankee Stadium cheered on the trespasser, his sojourn was a short-lived one, as a security guard quickly chased him down and demolished him with an aggressive takedown.
“I didn’t mean to disrupt the game,” Lertora-Leiva claimed Wednesday during the call. “I was obviously not really thinking about it.”
There has been unfortunately no shortage of incidents like the one that played out this week at Yankee Stadium across Major League Baseball with fans returning to ballparks in droves this season as attendance returns to pre-pandemic levels.
Beyond MLB, unruly fan behavior also unfortunately marred the start of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, as an outbreak of ugly incidents involving fans and players got the postseason off to a rocky start.
Lertora-Leiva went on to say that he regrets being such a disruption and how his irresponsible act may have led players and ballpark security and staffers to feel uncomfortable.
“I wasn’t trying to make anyone feel threatened or scare anyone,” Lertora-Leiva added. “I know celebrities and athletes, they feel they don’t know the intention of fans and it could be intimidating.
“I was just being dumb. … It was just a lapse in judgment.”
Admission of regret aside, Lertora-Leiva nevertheless now faces consequences for his actions. NYPD announced Wednesday that the Yankees fan was tagged with a desk-appearance ticket for criminal trespass and a violation of local law,
While fans storming an MLB ballpark’s field or instigating unacceptable interactions with NBA players is almost universally abhorred, there’s sadly little chance such incidents will come to an end anytime soon, despite the kind of consequences Lertora-Leiva now faces.