2 Who Taunted John Rocker Arrested

Tuesday, June 13th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two fans were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for refusing to leave the stadium after taunting reliever John Rocker during a minor league game.

The two men were drunk, refused to cooperate and were sprayed in the face with pepper spray before they were arrested Sunday night, police said.

Clinton Blunier III, 23, of New Carlisle, and Stephen Albanese, 23, of Westerville, were taken to Franklin County jail. They posted bail and were released.

They were among four disruptive fans during the Richmond Braves' game against the Columbus Clippers, the Franklin County Sheriff's office said. Two fans agreed to leave, but Blunier and Albanese would not.

The Atlanta Braves demoted Rocker to Triple-A Richmond last week. He has been criticized for comments about ethnic groups and gays, but the team says his poor pitching merited the demotion.

Blunier said he and Albanese did nothing obscene or threatening, though he did insult Rocker beginning in the eighth inning. Blunier was sitting about 30 yards from Rocker down the left-field line.

``He's an outspoken bigot. So I said, `The guy behind you isn't white. Does that make you uncomfortable?''' Blunier said.

He said the officer who made the arrests overreacted.

``Everything he did, from spray to cuffing to transporting us, was unreasonable,'' Blunier said.