ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – On June 30, a lawsuit was filed by Nathan O’Donnell, a resident of Pinellas County against Tampa Bay Rays Baseball LTD.
On September 20, 2021, at Tropicana Field in Parking Lot 6A, O’Donnell was “attacked, stabbed, and injured,” according to the lawsuit.
Various news sources covered the incident on September 21, 2021, with details that supplement the lawsuit.
These news reports, released September 21, indicate that an argument first occurred between O’Donnell (then unnamed) and the alleged perpetrator, Alexander Garcia, 19, of Clearwater, after the Rays’ game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Fox 13 stated Garcia then “retrieved a knife from his vehicle and stabbed the victim in the side. Police said the suspect tried to leave, but baseball police traffic units detained him.” It also stated O’Donnell’s injury was “not life-threatening.”
The lawsuit contends that the Tampa Bay Rays had “a duty to take such precautions as were reasonably necessary to protect its invitees, including Plaintiff, from criminal attacks which were reasonably foreseeable.
At all times material hereto, Defendant, TAMPA BAY RAYS BASEBALL LTD, knew or should have known that violent crimes and other criminal activity have, can, and do occur on or near the premises and in and around premises hosting sports and entertainment events for the public.”
The lawsuit accuses the Tampa Bay Rays of “failing to police, patrol, guard, deter, and otherwise provide adequate and safe protection for patrons when the Defendant knew or should have known of foreseeable criminal acts…As a direct and proximate result of the actions of Defendant, TAMPA BAY RAYS BASEBALL LTD, Plaintiff, NATHAN O’DONNELL, was stabbed and severely injured as a result of Defendant placing Plaintiff in harm’s way where he could be attacked by another patron after having knowledge of the threat posed to him while on Defendant’s premises.”
However, the lawsuit does not indicate specific deficiencies that purportedly existed in the headcount of law enforcement, patrol or security personnel before, during, or after the game. There were also no specific deficiencies indicated regarding the presence of surveillance technology.
At the time of the crime, Garcia was identified in the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office’s “Subject Charge Report” as a homeless person. He was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and bailed out of jail by an unknown person or entity.
The Plaintiff could not be reached for comment.
Law enforcement agencies do not comment on pending litigation.