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Burns & Gambo

Updated Aug 22, 2013 - 5:43 pm

Man booted from Cardinals stadium denies police reports

PHOENIX -- A man who was removed from an Arizona Cardinals game after he asked his son to hold his beer has denied police reports that he was being disorderly.

Reports said that when officers saw John Coulter hand his son his beer so he could take a photo, they approached him and informed him he broke the law. Coulter then allegedly became verbally abusive and officers removed him from the stadium because he was disturbing other fans.

Coulter told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Mac & Gaydos that those reports were false.

"There was no hostility throughout the incident," he said. "It only lasted about five minutes total."

Coulter denied that he used profanity.

"I didn't use any profanity. In fact, I didn't have much of a chance to even talk. I had to interrupt them to ask questions."

Reports said Coulter was verbally abusive when he was shown a badge identifying the officers, but he said Thursday that when he first saw the badge, he didn't know what to think.

"I did, at first, think it was fake, but after they were pretty abrupt with me and they were pretty official with me, I figured it was real," he said.

Coulter said it was his understanding that he was being removed from the game, no matter what happened or who he spoke to, despite the report claiming he had requested to speak with a supervisor.

"There was no indication that they were going to let us stay," he said. "They said that because he had alcohol in his possession and they observed me giving it to him they had to remove me from the game. They were very clear."

During the incident, Coulter said he was calm and did not insult anyone. He also said the only time he became slightly upset was when he went through the process to recover his and his son's identification that the officers had taken.

"We got the IDs back, but it took over an hour," he said.

However, Communications Director for the Arizona Dept. of Liquor License and Control Lee Hill said she had no idea why Coulter would attempt to deny the reports.

"I don't know," she told Mac & Gaydos. "That's his word."

Another issue Coulter had with the reports was the use of phrases like "a comment consistent with," meaning the officers were not taking direct quotes. Hill said that was standard practice.

""Because there was no recording device, the officers are trained to pay attention to what somebody says," she said, adding that the officers believed the officers were being cursed at.

When pressed, Hill said the quotes in the report were not exactly what Coulter said.

"Can they quote him verbatim? No they can't."

Some are concerned that the reports of the incident were not written until Wednesday considering the even occurred Saturday. Hill said the officers were scheduled to be off and had not planned to file a report, as no arrests were made.

"The fact is that there were no arrests made," she said. "A report is not usually written unless there are arrests made."

Hill added that the reports were only filed so her agency could answer questions from the media.

When it came to why the officers originally spoke to Coulter, Hill said her agency attempts to educate people on Arizona's alcohol-related laws and the officers' duty was to inform Coulter that he had done something illegal.

"The contact was an educational contact. We do this all the time. We want to educate and prevent. We want people to have a great time at these games."

However, when Coulter reportedly became disorderly, that's when officers decided to remove him from the game.

"Mr. Coulter was not ejected because of the beer, he was ejected because of his behavior," said Hill.

Coulter said he first brought the incident to the media's attention so that other parents could avoid a similar scenario ahead of football season.

"I really just wanted folks to know that this is illegal," he said.

Coulter said the Cardinals organization told him it was investigating the incident but has not banned him or revoked his season tickets. Coulter plans on going to more games this season.

About the Author

Mac Watson & Larry Gaydos represent "the younger generation of talk…because we grew up in a different era." To someone who has never listened, Mac Watson and Larry Gaydos describe their show as,  "relatable stories that emotionally connect with our audience…. basically, stuff that affects our daily lives here in Arizona."


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