Bengals Reassess Stadium Security after Antics of Fan

CINCINNATI (AP) -- The fan who ran out of the stands and snatched a football from Brett Favre's hand pleaded innocent to a variety of charges at his arraignment Monday, while the Bengals promised not to let it happen again.

Gregory Gall, 31, of Cincinnati, is accused of resisting arrest, trespass and disorderly conduct while intoxicated. He was released on his own recognizance following his appearance in Municipal Court.

The Bengals are reviewing their security measures to prevent a repeat of Gall's run on the field, which interrupted the final minute of Cincinnati's 21-14 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday that the league doesn't get involved in team security issues.

"It's a local matter," he said. "If there's any questions, we can assist them. But it appears to be an isolated incident, and the Bengals are reviewing it."

Favre drove the Packers to the Cincinnati 28 in the final minute and took a snap from center when Gall ran onto the field, prompting officials to blow the play dead.

Gall approached Favre from behind, snatched the ball from his throwing hand and ran to the other end of the field with security guards in pursuit. He was finally tackled and taken from the field.

The five-minute delay gave the Bengals time to regroup. They sacked Favre on the next play, and the clock ran out after Favre faked a spike and wound up running downfield. He flipped the ball forward illegally as the game ended.

Several Packers complained about security, noting that the fan could have hurt Favre. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis acknowledged after the game that the delay broke the Packers' momentum, and joked that the team would pay the fan $20.

A day later, Lewis said fans must be kept off the field.

"That's the first fear you have - there's a guy running clean at Brett Favre," Lewis said Monday. "That's why you can't allow that to occur. Our people that handle security feel very badly about it and will take steps (so) that kind of thing never happens here again at Paul Brown Stadium."

Sports leagues have struggled with the question of how to prevent fans from going on the field. In September 2002, a father and his son ran onto the field during a Chicago White Sox game and attacked Kansas City first base coach Tom Gamboa.

A fan went onto the field at halftime of the Patriots' Super Bowl win over Carolina two years ago, briefly delaying the second-half kickoff.

The NFL required all 32 teams to conduct pat-downs of fans entering their stadiums before games this season. Local government officials initially balked, but the pat-downs were conducted before each of the last two Bengals home games.

(c) 2005 Associated Press

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