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No charges for Sharks fan that knocked a 16-year-old brain tumor patient unconscious

Feb 7, 2012, 12:15 PM EDT

Maggie Herger

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting South Bay prosecutors won’t file charges against a Sharks fan that knocked a 16-year-old brain tumor patient unconscious during a San Jose-Vancouver game in late December.

Maggie Herger, a Bay Area Canucks fan, was hit on the back of the head after celebrating a goal during Vancouver’s 3-2 overtime victory on Dec. 28, allegedly by an intoxicated female Sharks fan sitting directly behind her.

More, from the Mercury News:

Officials said they did not find sufficient evidence to prove the drunken woman behind Herger hit her on purpose. Herger’s sister, who was sitting next to her, heard the fan tell an usher that she had brought her hands down on Herger’s head accidentally in celebration of a Sharks goal.

Because everyone in the section was standing and cheering with their eyes trained on the ice during the celebration, no one else actually saw the woman hit Herger. Even Maggie, whose back was turned to the woman, didn’t witness it, though the teenager said she had been verbally harassed by the Sharks fan because of her Canucks shirt.

As she was being loaded into the ambulance, more Sharks fans yelled at the girl, including one who screamed at her to “suck it up.”

Herger’s mother, Jaynie, said the family incurred several medical bills related to the incident, including a $1,300 charge for the ambulance ride, and still don’t know the identity of the woman that hit her daughter. Jaynie also stated the family was disappointed to hear Santa Clara County assistant district attorney David Howe wouldn’t be pressing charges.

“Our hearts go out to the young woman and her family,” Howe said in a statement. “No fan should worry about their safety at a sporting event. However, the evidence is insufficient to establish who committed the act that resulted in the teen’s injury and whether that act was intentional or accidental.”

(Photo courtesy CTV BC)

  1. howiehandles - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Not a Nucks or Sharks fan, but its really getting more difficult to be a fan of professional sports, when idiots are yelling at a little girl, IMO 16 is still a little kid, to “suck it up” as she’s being taken out in an ambulance.

    Also just ridiculous that opposing fans can’t wear their jerseys for fear of being assaulted (Dodgers games, 49ers games, etc) Who cares what team they cheer for, as long as they don’t get stupid and aggressive. Its just a freaking game.

    • Eric - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      ditto.

    • bcisleman - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:01 PM

      Little kid or no, she was knocked unconscious and was being removed in an ambulance. Those fans are sick. I am glad they are not Islander fans. Every Shark fan should be embarrassed. I guess every hockey fan should be.

    • lonespeed - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      I agree completely. The NFL is the worst offender. I went to a Philadelphia Eagle game a few years ago while away on business and even if I was an Eagle fan, I can’t imagine taking a child to that environment. Other stadiums are not ‘as’ bad, but far from models of positive behavior.

      I still go to an NHL or MLB game here and there, but for the most part, been there done that and I’d prefer to stay at home and watch the game in HD.

      It’s not just the environment; high ticket prices, high concession prices, high merchandise prices, high parking prices, and then throw in a bunch (not all) of bad fans, not really much incentive to actually go to a game. No real reason to pay $300 – 400 for a family of four to attend a professional game.

      The NBA is the worst of the worst. Not only is their product god-awful and extremely expensive, but all the seats near the floor are sold-out to corporate sponsors.

    • trbowman - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      Went to USC/Notre Dame at the Coliseum rocking ND gear a few years ago.

      Fun trip.

    • stakex - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:50 PM

      Want an easy fix? Ban alcohol at sporting events. Most of these incidents are caused by someone who is intoxicated. People do really stupid things when they are drunk. Remove alcohol from the picture and there would be a lot less of these type of attacks… and sporting events would be less hostile as a whole.

      That will never happen of course, not when stadiums are making $8-10 a drink.

      • theiceman26 - Feb 7, 2012 at 5:43 PM

        yeah because people won’t drink before the game..

      • stakex - Feb 7, 2012 at 6:34 PM

        Can’t really do anything about that.

        However if thats the only reason you can come up with as to why drinking shouldn’t be banned at sporting events, you don’t have much of an argument. Sure people might drink before the game, but thats not a reason NOT to ban drinking during the game.

        It would be like saying “Well, some people speed anyway… so why have speed limits?”. I really shouldn’t have to point out the problems with that kind of logic.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 7, 2012 at 8:11 PM

        If people know they can’t get alcohol at the game they’ll drink way more before. People are always going to be drunk and act like idiots at sporting events, why should the people who want a few casual drinks be punished for that fact?

  2. mgp1219 - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    The Sharks organization should help with the costs, either completely or partially.

    • warpstonebc - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      That’s not a bad idea.

      At the very least, give her family a few tickets to the next home game against the Canucks.

      • ruddigervancity - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Maybe in a suite though….

  3. The Baseball Gods - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    If this happened to a Rangers fan in Philadelphia it would have been on the front page of ESPN.com. Of course since it happened in San Jose I have to read it on prohockeytalk.com 1 1/2 months after the fact.

    • Mike Halford - Feb 7, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      Not for nothing, but…

      http://prohockeytalk.nbcsports.com/2011/12/30/when-shark-fans-attack-a-teenager-with-a-brain-tumor/

      We did have it up the day after it happened.

    • ch0pstyx - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Yeah, clearly you don’t hit up PHT until now because Mike aint lying! I seened it!!! lol She is pretty cute for jail bait!

  4. jrod691 - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    As a Sharks fan, I am ashamed reading this story. I’m surprised as well. I have seen a few different altercations between Sharks fans and Canucks/Red Wings fans but to this point, every time that I have seen something go down several Sharks fans, including myself, stop it before it escalates.

    I agree that the Sharks should pay all medical bills and giver this fan and her family tickets to any remaining Canucks games at the tank this year and/or next year.

  5. eggserino - Feb 7, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    This is a symptom of a larger problem that we have with public discourse in our country. Look at the all or nothing political jockeying that is happening. Tim Thomas refusing to go to the White House as a “conscientious objector.” The only way that we’re going to solve our problems is by discussing them.

    I’m lucky to be living in a great city like Chicago. I’m a huge St. Louis Blues and Cardinals fan, yet I enjoy gently ribbing fans, then discussing their teams, just like I regularly take gentle ribbing about being a Blues fan. Being a fan isn’t about going to war for your colors. It’s about enjoying the game regardless of whether your team wins. That much I’ve learned from my Cub fan friends AND from being a Blues fan.

    Holy Christ, people. get your head screwed on straight. I also agree with the assertion that the Sharks should pony up for medical bills. One is not taking on an expected danger of being knocked unconscious by another spectator when they attend a sporting event. It would be interesting if a California court would hold up the indemnification clause that is printed on the back of tickets when sold.

  6. rexadelphia8 - Feb 7, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    Yup if it happend in Philly, this would of been headline news, gotta love the media, they do whatever the he’ll they want

  7. dreadpiratesteve - Feb 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    No charges were filed because she clearly took a dive.

  8. BurkieInBoston - Feb 7, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    I can’t help but blame the on ice behavior of LaPierre, Burrows, & other phonies on Canucks for putting this kind of rage into their opposition’s fans. Give this girl, not only free Tix for future Van @ SJ games, but free hotel flight & Tix for all future SJ @ Van games moving forward. She’s a true Canucks fan who probably gets douche chills when Burrows & LaPierre act like tools. Hook her up!!!

    • taytay099 - Feb 7, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      I can agree with this. Brad Marchand makes me want to punch out a few babies. Even a toddler or two.

  9. lickityschlick11 - Feb 7, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    Somethin just doesnt add up..

  10. betrayedbylife - Feb 7, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    few things are as pathetic as grown humans who are unable to control their emotions. if a hockey game makes you mad enough to hit a teenage girl in the head, maybe next time you want to go out you should call a babysitter and have them come with you to make sure you don’t crap your pants or beat up any kids.

  11. knicks4life - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    Blow

  12. knicks4life - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    Sharks suck go lies

  13. knicks4life - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    I mean islanders

  14. knicks4life - Feb 8, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    And the rangers too

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