Hazmat called after Jays fan dumps ‘dead guy’ on the field

Rob Ouellette scattered some of his stepbrother’s ashes on the field of Rogers Centre during a game...

Rob Ouellette scattered some of his stepbrother’s ashes on the field of Rogers Centre during a game Friday.

SHAWN JEFFORDS, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:31 PM ET

TORONTO - Major league baseball lore is dotted with famous curses and a healthy dose of superstition.

But when life-long Blue Jays fan Rob Ouellette scattered some of his stepbrother’s ashes on the field of Rogers Centre during a game Friday, he said he didn’t intend to incur the wrath of the baseball gods.

But the 32-year-old Windsor man’s tribute nearly had him feeling the wrath of team officials and Toronto Police, he said.

It has also upset some fans who have accused him of putting a hex on the squad as it fights for a playoff spot.

“If they don’t make the playoffs, I don’t want people blaming me,” Ouellette told the Toronto Sun. “Some people on Twitter said they weren’t going to make the playoffs because of me. I don’t want to be that guy.”

Ouellette said the idea came to him at the funeral for his stepbrother Joseph Pazner in February. Pazner, 32, died suddenly a heart attack while working as an oil rig hand in Alberta.

The pair loved the Blue Jays since they were children and Ouellette thought scattering some ashes during a game, especially against the hated Detroit Tigers, would be a fitting tribute.

“I didn’t realize the hazmat team was going to show up,” he said. “The whole terrorist thing. It didn’t occur to me.”

During the seventh inning stretch, Ouellette got out of his seat 20 rows behind the Jays dugout. He walked down to the edge of the field and dumped a sandwich bag full of his step-brother’s ashes onto the astro turf. He went back to his seat and noticed a flurry of activity at field level and above him on the concourse.

A few minutes later, security officials removed him from his seat and he was surrounded by police officers.

Ouellette said when it was determined he hadn’t released a dangerous substance, police allowed him to return to his seat. Stadium officials, though initially upset, were very courteous about the episode, he said.

“It was a little awkward telling them I’d just dumped a dead guy on the field,” he said. “But I think that saved me at the end of the day.”

A Toronto Fire Service hazmat team was called in later that night to clean up the remains. Blue Jays spokesman Jay Stenhouse said neither the incident nor the call to the hazmat team delayed the game.

While Ouellette can now see how his actions might have spooked people, he just wanted to honour the memory of his stepbrother, he said.

“Now, I think it’s funny,” he said. “At the time, I thought I was going to Guantanamo Bay. I was pretty f------ scared.”

shawn.jeffords@sunmedia.ca


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