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Driver Terrorizes Stadium

December 4, 1987

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A man drove a station wagon into Three Rivers Stadium, narrowly missing four workers, racing along walkways, and knocking over up to 80 gallons of nacho cheese before wrecking his vehicle, police said.

When police arrived they found the driver, Tony E. Morelli, 30, of Wintersville, Ohio, kicking imaginary field goals on the football field Thursday.

No one was hurt, police said.

Officer Frank Vetere said Morelli told him he was upset with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mark Malone. ″He said he was tired of Malone’s passing,″ Vetere said. ″The only thing he said was that he didn’t like Malone.″

Doctors released Morelli to police custody after he underwent a psychiatric examination at St. John’s Health and Hospital Center in Pittsburgh, said police spokeswoman Margaret Rizza.

Morelli was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and criminal trespass before District Justice Olive Stocker. Bond was set at $10,000.

The station wagon entered the stadium through an open gate, officials said.

″He just rode in here in a white station wagon and took half the wall off my office, a concrete brick wall, then he ran into a couple of our four-wheel- drive trucks with 70 to 80 gallons of nacho cheese,″ said Ted Winters, 62, of Pittsburgh, commissary manager.

Witnesses said the vehicle was covered with cheese as it left the stadium at another gate and re-entered, racing along walkways and ramps at speeds up to 50 mph, said stadium worker Jim Pearce.

Pearce said the station wagon nearly hit him and three other workers. He said he and another worker closed the second gate so the station wagon could not leave the stadium again.

The vehicle, meanwhile, raced up three levels, turned right, hit a gate and stopped, witnesses said. Morelli then went onto the field below.

Update hourly