San Francisco 49ers propose actions to beat violent fans to the punch 

After a rash of fan violence marred Saturday’s game, 49ers President Jed York said Monday that the team will impose an array of stricter security measures, including banning tailgating during games and asking the NFL to postpone further preseason games with the Raiders.

One man was severely beaten in a Candlestick Park restroom during the game and two more were shot in a parking lot after the game, police said. All three are now in fair condition. Videos have been posted online of other fights both inside and outside the game.

Police Chief Greg Suhr said Monday that 39 people were arrested or cited for violence or public intoxication at the game, and 10 were hospitalized. And yet the game featured just one-third the attendance of a typical regular-season game and 40 percent more police, he said.

“This game was like no other that I can remember, and I’ve been a Niner fan my whole life,” Suhr said at a briefing with York and Mayor Ed Lee. While previous preseason rivalry games have been problematic, Suhr insisted, “Nobody could have been prepared for what happened on Saturday night.”

York was even blunter in his remarks.

“The degenerate behavior that happened on Saturday is not going to be tolerated,” York said, adding that the behavior was caused by “a very small segment from both fan bases.”

In addition to recommending that preseason games with the 49ers’ cross-Bay rivals be ended in favor of smaller practice scrimmages, the team is limiting tailgating to the four hours prior to kickoff only and cracking down on drinking inside and outside the stadium. People in the parking lots without tickets after the game begins “will be asked to go home,” team operations and security chief Jim Mercurio said.

Other changes will include a “more visible” police presence, additional roving “alcohol management teams,” brighter lighting in the parking lots, and the revocation of access for season ticketholders who misbehave at games. Police will also conduct DUI checkpoints after every game, Suhr said.

“Candlestick Park is and will be a safe place to come to a game,” Mercurio said.

Lee stressed the cooperation between The City and the team. “That is how other cities have approached these challenges,” he said.

The shooting and assault investigations remain ongoing.

Police detained one man at the scene of the shooting, and are now doing gunshot residue tests to try to determine if he was responsible, Suhr said. Police have not said if the violence was believed to have been sparked by team rivalries or merely drunken behavior.


Unnecessary roughness

Police encountered much mayhem Saturday at Candlestick Park. There were two shootings and two bathroom beat-downs, and a drunken fan bit a cop’s forearm and refused to let go. Other incidents included:

  • 10:45 a.m.: Speeding car stopped near stadium; driver arrested on outstanding warrant stemming from firearms charges
  • 6:10 p.m.: Fight in Section 13; two suspected gang members brawled after argument over team affiliations; witness who tried to break up fight punched in face; assailant arrested
  • 6:30 p.m.: Fight in concourse; cop tackled suspect who assaulted person; victim fled before talking to cop; suspect cited and ejected
  • 7 p.m.: Man standing in line at restroom struck in back of head and knocked unconscious; currently at S.F. General Hospital
  • 7:05 p.m.: Fight in Section 13; bicycle cops saw drunken man holler, “Take their bikes”; man grabbed officer’s handlebars; he was arrested
  • 7:10 p.m.: Fight in Section 61; police detain main agitator; suspect cited and ejected
  • 7:20 p.m.: Man in bathroom grabbed by neck and shoved into wall; he fell, hit head and lost consciousness; suspect fled; victim hospitalized
  • 7:30 p.m.: Fight in Section 17; usher speaking to supervisor is punched in face for no reason; supervisor held suspect until cops arrived; suspect arrested
  • 8 p.m.: Large fight erupts into shooting in RV parking lot; victim shot in leg and grazed in face; is in stable condition at hospital
  • 8:10 p.m.: Huge fight in Section 36; cops pulled brawlers apart as fans fought and chucked beer and food; brawler bit cop on forearm; cop struck suspect, but suspect wouldn’t let go; after another cop intervened, suspect arrested
  • 9 p.m.: Shooting at Gate A; victim suffered three wounds to torso; victim drove for several minutes before seeking help
  • 10 p.m.: Police respond to Kaiser Hospital in South City about assault at stadium; victim said person sitting behind him insulted him and his team; victim punched in face when he confronted assailant; friend of suspect also punched victim until cops took both into custody

— Mike Aldax

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