Footballer to be cited after snowball attack

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The Independent Online

A frustrating loss became even more painful when the Oakland Raiders were pelted with snowballs at Denver's Mile High Stadium, leading to a confrontation with fans and legal problems for cornerback Charles Woodson.

A frustrating loss became even more painful when the Oakland Raiders were pelted with snowballs at Denver's Mile High Stadium, leading to a confrontation with fans and legal problems for cornerback Charles Woodson.

The Raiders are angry about being attacked by snowballs, some spiked with batteries, throughout their 27-21 overtime loss on Monday night to the Broncos. The attacks intensified as they left the field in disappointment after the loss.

Moments after the game, Woodson allegedly hurled a snowball that struck a female fan in the face, and offensive tackle Lincoln Kennedy went after a fan who had hit him in the face with a snowball.

Denver police said an arrest warrant for Woodson was in the works and was likely to be issued Wednesday charging him with misdemeanor assault and throwing objects, violations that carry a maximum punishment of a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.

Detective Mary Thomas said Woodson probably could settle the matter by paying a fine, perhaps as little as $25.

The 335-pound Kennedy punched a fan after getting hit in the face by a snowball. Kennedy had charges filed against the fan, and police said Kennedy was not cited because he had the right to fight back after getting hit by the snowball.

"I did something that was very unorthodox," Kennedy said on Monday night. "I got hit by a number of snowballs and then got surrounded by a number of drunk fans and lost my temper."

Police said eight fans were arrested for assault and 13 others received citations for their actions during and after the game. Three fans spent the night in jail.

Denver coach Mike Shanahan said on Tuesday he was very disappointed by the way Broncos fans acted toward the Raiders.

"For someone to throw a snowball at somebody is classless. If you want to throw something at me and hit me with a snowball, I think you deserve to be punched," he said. "I think there's a handful of people that do things like that. They have a few too many drinks."

But Shanahan, who said he was hit by a battery thrown from the stands when the Broncos visited Oakland on 10 October, did not condone Woodson's reaction.

"I got hit in the back of the head with a battery. I felt like it was going to knock me out," he said. "My first thought was, 'Hey, I'd like to find out who did that,' but I wasn't going to take a battery and throw it into the crowd."

In December 1995, in the final game of the season at Giants Stadium, fans pelted the field with snowballs and nearly caused the first forfeit in NFL history. Fifteen people, including the San Diego Chargers equipment manager, were injured. Another 15 were arrested and 175 people were ejected from the stadium.

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