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August 03, 2016

Ejected Phillies heckler tells his side of the story

What started out as what he assumed to be something snarky in the spirit of good fun turned into a little more than Jeremy Lichterman bargained for Tuesday night, when the 43-year old from Delaware County made national news by being tossed from the stands by home plate umpire Bob Davidson in the sixth inning of the Phillies game with the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park.

Lichterman was sitting behind the Giants’ dugout with a friend when Davidson motioned to security to have him removed from the game.


“All of a sudden — in what inning was it? — this guy starts yelling, ‘You suck!’ You could tell he was [drunk],” Davidson told pool reporter Kevin Cooney of the Bucks County Courier Times. “And so, all right, suck is not bad. Then he kept it up for two hitters completely. Then the third hitter after the first pitch, he says, ‘I own property on 69th Street. You can come over and suck!’

 “That’s when I turned around and said, ‘You know what, get rid of this guy.’ You could have your wife, girlfriend, kids — they buy tickets. They don’t have to come here and listen to that. That’s exactly what he said to throw him out. All I heard him say was ‘suck.’ I didn’t hear any N word or anything like that. What he said about 69th Street, that’s when I turned around and had the guy get rid of him. I don’t know why security didn’t do that on their own. There were kids there and young girls there. And they cheered me, which is unusual in this town for me.”

Fans in the vicinity of Lichterman called into Angelo Cataldi’s morning show on 94 WIP on Tuesday saying that Lichterman was funny, others that he was obnoxious.

Lichterman, who works for an insulation company in Clifton Heights, Delaware County, contests Davidson’s assertions.

His version is different.

For one, he says, he wasn’t drunk. And secondly, he says he didn’t slur anyone’s sexual orientation.

 “The last thing I meant to do was offend anyone,” he said. “What amazes me is how much of a big deal this is. Think about it. I went to a baseball game and yelled, ‘You suck.’ I think there’s been more offensive things done before.”

“I was heckling the Giants’ players, the guys that were warming up on deck,” Lichterman said. “I was saying, ‘You suck,’ to guys in the on-deck circle. I saw they had one guy who had a horrible haircut, so I told him I had a good barber on 69th Street that could cut your hair. That was basically it. I wasn’t given any warning. When the game had stopped, I had no idea that they were coming to me. I had no clue until the guards came down, and I figured that [Davidson] was pointing at me. That’s when I got up out of my seat and walked out and left.

 “They didn’t actually throw me out. I didn’t know what their plans were. I figured to nip in the butt, no big deal. I left, because I didn’t want to create any more of a disturbance here. It’s embarrassing because of how this thing blew up. My wife is mortified. Other than that, people go to sporting events all of the time and act a lot worse than that. To be honest, there was a guy sitting in front of me with two little kids, and he turned and said to me, ‘It was funny the first couple of times, can you stop?’ That’s when I apologized and I stopped. That’s when the guards came down, by then, that’s when the guards came down. I was sober.”

Phillies security asked for Lichterman’s identification, which he complied, and he and the friend he came with drove home.

 “I wasn’t charged with anything, and I really wasn’t doing anything that doesn’t happen at a sporting event,” Lichterman maintained. “To be honest, it’s something made much bigger than it should be. I never had anything like this ever happen to me before. You can say it’s a lesson learned.”

When Lichterman did leave, the crowd surrounding him began to clap.

 “The last thing I meant to do was offend anyone,” he said. “What amazes me is how much of a big deal this is. Think about it. I went to a baseball game and yelled, ‘You suck.’ I think there’s been more offensive things done before.”