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Suspect in Jays beer-tossing case faces mischief charge, police say

TORONTO – A mischief charge has been laid against a man alleged to have tossed a beer can at a Baltimore outfielder during a dramatic Blue Jays playoff game earlier this week, Toronto police said Thursday.

Ken Pagan, 41, of Hamilton, was charged after surrendering at a downtown police detachment and is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on Nov. 24.

Tyler Smith, a lawyer for Pagan, spoke to the media Thursday, saying his client was going to wait until court to have his say.

“The police have been fair in dealing with us on this and so that’s why he’s here (at the police station) to co-operate as much as he can right now,” said Smith. “But at the end of the day he’s presumed innocent and he won’t have anything further to say to … (reporters).”

The incident took place on Tuesday, when a can hurled from the stands narrowly missed Baltimore Orioles player Hyun Soo Kim as he made a catch during the seventh inning of the game at the Rogers Centre.

After announcing they were investigating the tallboy toss by an “unsportsmanlike fan,” police released a photograph on Wednesday evening of a man they alleged was the one who threw the can.

They did not name the man, but encouraged him to turn himself in.

Pagan, in an email to The Canadian Press on Wednesday night, identified himself as the man in the police photo.

A spokeswoman with Postmedia, who confirmed Pagan was an employee with the company, said the organization was conducting an internal investigation but had “reached no conclusions.”

In a report published by the Toronto Sun, which is owned by Postmedia, Pagan suggested police may be wrong.

Pagan told the Toronto Sun he was “drinking out of a cup” during the game. He also said photos posted on Twitter that show him after the can was tossed clearly indicate he had a cup in his hand.

Police said they believed they’d identified the correct person.

“We are confident we have made a positive ID,” Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu said Thursday.

The incident, however, has captivated many baseball fans and online amateur detectives, sparking frame-by-frame analysis of photographs and video footage from the game.

Online, theories abounded on just who was actually the tallboy tosser.

“Ken Pagan is totally innocent and this proves it,” said one person on Twitter.

“Wait it was definitely Ken Pagan. He chucks it sidearm to make it look like it came from the gap in fans,” tweeted another.

The Blue Jays apologized to the Orioles for the incident at Tuesday’s game and Major League Baseball vowed to tighten security and alcohol policies at its games.

There were also reports that racial slurs were directed at Orioles players at the game.

When asked if he heard racial slurs Tuesday night, centre fielder Adam Jones said: “I’ve heard that so much playing baseball, call me what you want, I don’t care.”

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