LOS ANGELES – A baseball fan believed that the best way to propose marriage to his girlfriend would be to run onto the outfield grass at Dodger Stadium. A security guard thought differently, leveling the fan with a jarring football tackle.
Ricardo Juarez, of Riverside, California, went to the Dodgers’ Opening Day game on Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks with his girlfriend, Stephani Ramona Gutierrez, The Orange County Register reported.
Juarez, 35, a sushi chef, brought an engagement ring and was trying to figure out a way to pop the question.
“My thought was that I would ask her from where we were sitting and, I don’t know, that maybe the cameras would look at me so that we would be on the big screen,” Juarez told the Los Angeles Times.
During the seventh-inning stretch, Juarez decided to run onto the field from his seat in the left-field pavilion, the Register reported.
Juarez sprinted to one spot, whirled around and dropped to a knee to propose to Gutierrez, 35, who was also in the stands, according to the newspaper.
As the crowd yelled, Juarez was jolted off his feet by the security guard, whose spearing tackle was reminiscent of the finishing move used by WWE superstar Goldberg.
Juarez was also handcuffed and escorted off the field and was slapped with a one-year ban from Dodger Stadium, the Register reported.
So, why run on the field to propose?
“Just show your wives that you love them,” Juarez told the Times. “Tell them the truth, always fight, treat them with love and do everything for them, because well, she is the love of your life.”
Gutierrez nearly missed the proposal. She was already miffed that Juarez had not walked her to a restroom during the seventh-inning stretch, according to the newspaper.
“I was walking back from the bathroom, and he kept calling me and saying, ‘You’re going to be on TV,’ but I couldn’t understand what he was saying,” Gutierrez told the Times.
She heard yelling from the stands when she returned to her seat. Then she saw Juarez on the field.
“I was coming back from the bathroom,” Gutierrez told the Register. “I almost missed the whole thing.”
The force of the tackle caused Juarez to drop the ring.
“I was yelling and telling them in English, ‘My ring, my ring,’” Juarez told the Times. “That’s the only thing that mattered.”
Representatives for the Dodgers declined to comment, according to the newspaper.
“They gave him a citation, they gave him the ring back and they banned him for a year,” Gutierrez told the Register.
The couple already share a 1-year-old and Gutierrez has three children from two previous marriages, according to the newspaper.
And after Juarez was released and escorted out of the stadium, a friend drove him to meet Gutierrez at a party bus, the Times reported.
“We met each other, he got on his knees, and he proposed again,” Gutierrez told the newspaper.
She said yes. The couple plan to marry this summer, possibly on Aug. 5, according to the Register.