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Stellar Seven arrested at Rays' game

ST. PETERSBURG — They don't exactly make up Murderer's Row, but seven people managed to get themselves arrested Saturday night at Game 2 of the Rays-Red Sox series. Two more and they could have fielded a team.

Among the arrests are disorderly and obnoxious drunks who couldn't keep their commentary to themselves, a trespasser who tried to get into the stadium through the employee entrance, and a man accused of stealing a player's bat from the tunnel behind a dugout.

Game 2's seven arrests came along with more than 55 ejections from Tropicana Field. In Game 1, five people were arrested and 32 ejected, according to St. Petersburg Police.

So who are the Stellar Seven?

Leading off was Justin E. Riley, 25, of Tampa. At 10 p.m., according to police, Riley threw a plastic cup at a fan in another row and taunted the fan, trying to get him to fight. That earned him a disorderly conduct charge. When he pulled away from police, Riley landed a charge of resisting arrest without violence.

Five minutes later, at 10:05 p.m., Tampa's Thomas M. Dattilo, 21, was arrested. At 9:30 p.m., Dattilo had been removed from the stadium and warned by police. But half an hour later, the Massachusetts-born Dattilo made his way into the stadium through the employee gate. He began cursing at a police officer, according to an arrest report, and was promptly taken to jail on a trespassing charge.

The most unusual arrest of the night came courtesy of Brian D. McHugh, a 28-year-old who lives in Boca Raton but was born in Massachusetts.

Police said McHugh snuck into a tunnel leading to a dugout and somehow managed to steal a bat. At 10:30 p.m., a St. Petersburg police officer found McHugh, bat in hand. McHugh was taken to jail on a charge of commercial burglary.

The game went on for an hour and half without any arrests until five minutes before midnight. That's when Christopher I. Fredericks of St. Petersburg was arrested for trespassing. Sporting a blue Mohawk, Fredericks was walked out the door but he refused to leave the property even after being warned five times. He was hauled off to jail at 11:55 p.m.

The arrests, like the game, continued into the early morning hours.

At 12:50 a.m., Billy E. Deskins Jr. was shouting profanity and challenging people around him to fight, according to a police report.

An agitated crowd swelled around the 29-year-old Kentucky resident and Deskins had to be removed because he was a danger to himself and the people around him, police said. Deskins was charged with resisting arrest in addition to disorderly intoxication.

Outside the stadium, Nathaniel C. Lewis was arrested at 1:15 a.m., accused of carrying an open container of alcohol. Police said the 44-year-old St. Petersburg resident was drinking from a cup of bourbon on the sidewalk just west of the stadium. He was taken to jail.

The final arrest of the night came seven minutes before the Rays won the game. Howard D. Brown, 42, of Georgia, was charged with a simple battery that took place at 1:30 a.m. Police said Brown grabbed a security guard by the arm and pulled the guard toward him with an aggressive manner. Brown was also found to have a small amount of marijuana on him, police said.

All seven arrested have been released from jail.

The action resumes today at 4:37 p.m. in Boston.

Times staff writer Stephanie Garry contributed to this report. Jonathan Abel can be reached at jabel@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4157.

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Stellar Seven arrested at Rays' game 10/12/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 14, 2008 4:34pm]
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