Football fans, police confrontation caught on internet video
There are no plans to beef up security for Saturday's Calgary Stampeders game despite an online video that shows a rough altercation between a police officer and rowdy football fans.
The video, posted to YouTube on Wednesday, apparently shows a Calgary officer trying to remove a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan from the crowded stands during Monday's game at McMahon Stadium.
Another fan appears to lunge at the officer while his back is turned.
The officer then turns with his arms swinging to grab the fan, which causes both of them to fall into the seats in front of them.
The video shows what kind of dangerous situations officers are sometimes faced with at Canadian Football League games, said Calgary police Supt. Trevor Daroux.
"This is a 38-second snapshot of really what was happening here. This happened [with] about five minutes left in the game," he said on Friday.
"At same time, there were a number of similar incidents occurring and in many of those our officers were being swarmed and outnumbered by the crowd."
At the same game, Daroux said one fan was treated for serious head injuries after a fight with another fan, and an officer was approached by a man wearing brass knuckles.
"When I see an incident as that occurred at McMahon Stadium, I can see how when an officer's attempting to do his job, how quickly things can escalate out of hand to a very, very dangerous situation not only for our officers but for the public as well," he said, blaming individual behaviour and crowd dynamics for inflaming some situations.
But the manager of McMahon Stadium downplayed the incident posted on YouTube, calling it an isolated case.
"There's no way that we have uncontrolled mayhem here at Stampeders games. It's just not the fact," said John Haverstock.
He called the officer's actions reasonable: "I think he was in a really tough circumstance there. I didn't see anything there that I would say is unreasonable."
In a joint crackdown, McMahon Stadium, the football team, Calgary police and the Alberta Liquor Control Board enacted new rules this season asking fans to shut down tailgate parties an hour after kickoff and stopped selling alcohol at half-time to curb drunken behaviour.
"We have had fights in the stands before. This will not be the last fight in our grandstand that we'll ever have," said Haverstock. "You manage it and I think you manage it best you can. I think police do a great job for us. "
Stadium officials said they change their security plans depending on the Stampeders' opponents, increasing it for games against rivals like Saskatchewan and Edmonton. But there are no plans to beef up security for Saturday's game against Winnipeg.