Sunday, April 29, 2018

Mug Shot Monday (continued)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (News4Jax) -- At the Jumbo Shrimp game against the Blue Wahoos Thursday night, fans saw a man jump onto the field, drop his shorts and sprint across the baseball field naked.

While streaking may seem like an harmless prank, 20-year-old Dante Koonce was arrested and charged with a serious felony: lewd or lascivious conduct.

News4Jax learned Friday that, even though Koonce was also charged with disorderly conduct, this wasn't done on a drunken impulse. It started with a tweet.

10 retweets I’ll streak at the jumbo shrimp game -- Dante (@ChiefMcGnarly) April 27, 2018 After he got 20 retweets, he took off.

Video recorded by fans shows the man, later identified by police as Koonce, running from near first base, into right field, where he tried to climb the chain-link fence. He was pushed back onto the field by a fan, then ran to left field and climbed over the fence in the Family Fun Zone.

"At first I want to laugh like, okay, maybe it’s a harmless prank," said Rodney Ferioli, who attended the game. "But you come out here and you’re bringing your kids to the game. You’ve got to turn to them when you see them running and you’ve got to explain to them what’s going on."

UNCUT: Fan video records streaker's run, take down

Koonce was quickly tackled by a fan named Will, who told News4Jax that he kind of thought it was funny until the naked man started running toward him and his two little girls.

"I was trying to cover my 5-year-old's eyes and say, 'Don’t look, don’t look,'" said Will, who did not want his last name used. "Then I could tell he was making a beeline straight for where we were sitting on the ground, so that’s when I decided to stop him."

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, an off-duty officer working the game arrested Koonce. Because children saw him naked, Koonce was charged with lewd or lascivious conduct.

Will said that after he made the tackle and Koonce had been taken away, several fans were congratulating him and thanking him for what he did.

"I guess the inner-dad instincts just kicked in, because, you know, here he comes. He was coming right at us and we were just sitting there," he said.

Because Koonce had no prior record involving sexual offense, the sexual assault unit did not get involved in the case. Late Friday afternoon, Koonce posted $31,000 bond and was released from jail. 

The Jumbo Shrimp released a statement indicating that the team will not tolerate any fans coming onto the field uninvited:

“The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, in order to provide a safe environment for fans and players alike, strictly enforce a zero-tolerance policy regarding field invasion. Any attendee that enters the field uninvited is immediately removed from the stadium and put in the custody of our JSO officers that are on site every game. The Jumbo Shrimp, in cooperation with JSO, enforce all laws including, but not limited, to trespassing when such incidents occur.” In addition to charges against Koonce that could result in him being on Florida's sexual offender database for the rest of his life, if it turns out he was served alcohol at the game, others could be disciplined in the incident.

"If he was being served at the game, then somebody is going to be looking into who served him," said attorney Gene Nichols, who is not involved in this case. "I'm sure the Jumbo Shrimp have already reviewed their videotape to find out if this guy bought beer at the game."

Related: Man who tackled streaker at Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp game speaks out