Jungle Bird Man runs onto field during Nationals-Mets game, tackled by security


Nationals Park security restrains Jungle Bird Man during the ninth inning of Friday’s game. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Environmental rights activist and sporting event-crasher Andrew Dudley, otherwise known as Jungle Bird Man, interrupted the ninth inning of Friday’s Nationals-Mets game and was thrown to the ground by a Nationals Park security guard. With one out in the top of the inning and closer Rafael Soriano on the mound facing Ruben Tejada, Jungle Bird Man raced onto the field from the first base side seats and ran the bases.

Soriano, hands on his waist, and players stopped and watched as Jungle Bird Man reached home plate and then mimicked a swing.

“That was a funny moment,” catcher Wilson Ramos, who was a few feet away from Jungle Bird Man. “Behind home plate, I saw security push that guy on the ground. It was hard. Those guys drink too much.”

Jungle Bird Man then walked towards a security guard, who wore a clear poncho because of the rain, and held out his hands to surrender. Instead, the security guard grabbed Jungle Bird Man by the neck, essentially clotheslined him, and threw him to the ground.

More security guards arrived and took Jungle Bird Man off the field. Fans cheered.

 

“He slammed him down pretty good,” first baseman Tyler Moore said. “He was surrendering and he put him down. That’s their job. They did a good job.”

Soriano said fans have run onto the field four times during his career already. “When I was pitching up in Seattle,” he said. “When I was in Atlanta, it happened twice. And now here.”

Soriano got Tejada to fly out to right field, but then walked two batters before right fielder Jayson Werth made a game-saving, home run-robbing catch at the wall.

“I get mad because I’ve got to wait so long,” Soriano said. “It’s not easy for me. I get mad when that [stuff] happens.”

Jungle Bird Man was in Washington to raise awareness of the perils of illegal deforestation. He crashes sporting events to deliver his message, from soccer games to golf tournaments to Notre Dame-Navy football games t0 trophy ceremonies. (But fans watching the Nationals-Mets game likely wouldn’t have known about his purpose.) Perhaps his most notable moment was jumping in front of cameras during the 2012 U.S. Open trophy ceremony and making a bird call.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.
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