But while such tactics are commonplace at any stadium, bar or household across America, one Newark man apparently went above and beyond the call of duty when he phoned in a series of bomb threats during a pair of 2005 contests between the San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta.
Now the 39-year-old man who made those calls faces up to 50 years in federal prison, although a much lesser sentence is expected when he returns to court in January, the man's attorney said.
Newark resident Dante Madamba Suguitan accepted an agreement last week and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Atlanta to five counts of making the false threats, which claimed that bombs had been placed near the Giants and Braves dugouts during the two-game series, court records show.
"Dante is an extraordinarily avid baseball fan who was angry about the outcomes of the games against the Braves," defense attorney Matthew Dodge said Monday in a phone interview from his Atlanta office. "He understands that (his actions) were not rational and are illegal."
He went on to call Suguitan's actions "immature and juvenile," but noted that there was no actual threat to anyone at the stadium.
"He'd never been to Atlanta (prior to the court hearings) and the players and fans didn't even know (it was happening)," Dodge said.
Although the plea was part
Suguitan, who frequently sends e-mails to the MediaNews sports department sharing his opinions on a gamut of sports topics including one on the day in which he entered his pleas could not be reached by phone or e-mail for comment.
The Newark man was indicted by a federal grand jury in October 2005 after a special agent of the Joint Terrorism Task Force linked him to the threats.
With the help of a Fremont police detective and a parole agent in Santa Clara County, the federal agent determined that Suguitan owned the phone from which the calls were made, and that his voice matched that of the person who called Turner Field on Aug. 10 and 11, 2005, records show.
In the first call, Suguitan told stadium employees that, "This is a warning. There is a bomb right by the Giants dugout. There is a bomb right by the Giants dugout. It is set to go off in about a half-hour."
He then called two more times during the day and said that a bomb had been placed in seats near the San Francisco dugout and that it would be activated the next day.
On Aug. 11, employees at the facility received two more calls, this time claiming that an atomic bomb that resembled a Coke can had been placed in the Braves dugout and that it would be activated during the "tomahawk chop."
The Giants, who were playing without injured slugger Barry Bonds, lost the first game, 5-4, in 12 innings, and then won the Aug. 11 contest, 5-3.
In the months following the threats, the agent learned that the calls were made on a pre-paid MetroPCS cell phone bought in Milpitas and was registered to someone who used the name "SFGiantsFan."
It was later determined that the number also had been in Fremont police reports as the contact number for Suguitan, who's had about a dozen interactions with local authorities because he is a registered sex offender.
Suguitan has a 1999 conviction for a misdemeanor count of annoying or harassing a juvenile, which requires him to register with a local police agency and alert them of his whereabouts.
The details of the case were not immediately available Monday, but Dodge said the case involved Suguitan making several telephone calls to a high school-age girl.
"There was no physical contact," the attorney said.
Staff writer Ben Aguirre Jr. covers police and the courts for The Argus. He can be reached at 510-353-7011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.