The fan who rushed out onto the field following Johan Santana’s no-hitter in June has been banned from Citi Field indefinitely and hit with $5,000 in fines, the office of Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced.
Rafael Diaz, 33, of Massapequa, LI, pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor of interference with a professional sports event before Queens Criminal Court Judge Mary O’Donoghue.
He must perform 100 hours of community service, pay a $1,000 fine to New York City and $4,000 in civil penalties to the New York Mets.
“The defendant’s antics have resulted in a criminal record, the paying of thousands of dollars in fines and civil penalties, and perhaps the worst punishment for any true Mets fan, precluding him from ever again visiting Citi Field,” Brown said. “He has now learned the hard way that the Queens District Attorney’s Office and the New York Mets have zero tolerance for those who interfere with the play of America’s pastime.”
The DA’s prohibition on Diaz visiting Citi Field is for one year. The notice of trespass served on Diaz by the Mets organization is indefinite.
Should Diaz fail to meet the terms of his plea bargain he could be resentenced to between 15 days and one year in jail.
Santana threw the first no-hitter in the team’s 50-year history on June 1, blanking the defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals 8-0.
According to the complaint, Diaz jumped over the railing and onto the field after Santana struck out Cardinals third baseman David Freese for the game’s final out.
He ran into the playing area and crossed the field to the pitcher’s mound where Santana’s teammates were mobbing the Mets’ ace in celebration of his historic performance.
Diaz came into physical contact with various players before being apprehended and arrested.