Strange But True

Baseball Brawl Fallout: Five Citations, Canceled Games, National Shame

An image of an injured man in a video of the brawl tweeted by the Lakewood Police Department.
An image of an injured man in a video of the brawl tweeted by the Lakewood Police Department. Lakewood Police Department Twitter
The fallout from a brawl at a Lakewood youth baseball game on June 15 has been far-reaching. A video of the incident quickly went viral via social media and rated national coverage by the likes of ABC's Good Morning America.

The latest? The Lakewood Police Department, which originally tweeted the footage on June 18, has issued five citations thus far, with several of those singled out apparently coming from the same family. However, the individual at the center of the LPD's first alert — he's the man in a white shirt and teal shorts — remains at large and has not yet been publicly identified.

In the meantime, the league that organized the game has announced that the remainder of the season for the two teams involved has been canceled, and coaches and parents found to have been involved in the fisticuffs will be banned from future participation.

According to Lakewood authorities, the contest took place at Westgate Elementary School. The players were in the age-seven range and hailed from Denver and Bear Creek. The scrap was prompted by an objection to a call made by the umpire, who is all of thirteen.

Here's the now-famous video:

The five people reportedly cited to date are Littleton's David Williams, 24, and a quartet from Denver: Ernest Vigil, 55; Manuel Garduno, 47; Manuel Garduno, Jr., 29; and Darren Garduno, 26. In addition, two unidentified Denver Public Works employees have been placed on leave pending the results of an investigation into their possible involvement in the dust-up.

These accusations could be just the beginning, Police sources estimate that between fifteen and twenty people were entrants in this fight club, which may have been in session for as long as twenty minutes before officers arrived on the scene.

The attention attracted by the video inspired the Bear Creek Junior Sports Association to put out a strong message on June 19.

It reads: "BCJSA would like to apologize to our members and community in regards to the events that took place this past weekend. BCJSA has ZERO tolerance for this type of behavior...PERIOD. We are embarrassed, ashamed and angry that this has taken place. As of now, the Jeffco Co-Op has ended the season for both teams involved and all BC coaches and parents identified participating in the incident are being removed indefinitely."

This reaction makes perfect sense — but there's still something reassuring about the coast-to-coast response to the story. In a world filled with so many troubling and/or horrific events, it's nice to know people are still fascinated by the sight of grownups getting unaccountably upset over a competition between elementary schoolers.

If you have any information about Mr. Teal Shorts or the Westgate fight in general, you're encouraged to contact the Lakewood Police Department at 303-987-7111.

This post has been updated to include information about two Denver Public Works employees placed on leave because of possible involvement in the fight.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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