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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Muni lot dangerous for 8-year-old

By Marla Published: November 17, 2010

Before the season, there was an uproar from Browns tailgaters when the city of Cleveland elected to open the Muncipal Parking Lot lot near Cleveland Browns Stadium at 7 a.m. instead of 4 a.m.

Apparently that hasn't been enough to discourage the drunk and disorderly conduct of those who park there.

Danielle Brennan of Painesville Township wrote a letter to the Plain Dealer this week after her 8-year-old son, wearing a New York Jets jersey, was tackled by a fan after Sunday's game.

Here's Brennan's letter, according to Cleveland.com:

"Our family has made Cleveland our home for almost 12 years, and we tell everyone we know it is a wonderful city full of great people. Today, I'm ashamed to live here.

"As a birthday gift, my husband and 8-year-old son attended the Browns-Jets game. The Jets are their favorite team. What started out as an exciting day ended with an injured little boy.

"We knew there would be hecklers, but never would I have thought that my son would be called an expletive to his face or have hot dogs thrown at him. But the worst was when he was tackled by a drunken adult male in the parking lot. Yes, tackled! Can you imagine the fear that went through his mind as this buffoon landed on him with full force? It makes me sick to see the very large scrape and bruising he received.

"Shame on you, Browns fans! No matter how intense the game or who the opponent is, kids are off limits. End of story. I wonder if those repulsive fans were able to sleep Sunday night, knowing they assaulted a child. I know I didn't. ''

The Jets offered to fly the family to a home game, but they declined, according to WEWS-Channel 5.

It is not the Browns' job to police a lot owned by the city. But obviously the change in the lot's opening time has done nothing to curb rowdiness. A few more outrageous incidents like this and Cleveland will no longer be able to boast that it has the best fans in the NFL.

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