A fan of the Portland Trail Blazers is suing the owners of the Rose Garden for $105,000 after security guards allegedly confiscated his Nicolas Batum autograph and detained the plaintiff in a dark room.
In the lawsuit filed March 29 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Mark Chernobelsky of Southwest Portland says he had courtside tickets to the Blazers' home game against the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10, 2009.
After the Blazers won 106-98, Chernobelsky claims he was celebrating with the players and fans on the court and in the area beneath the bleachers. Chernobelsky says he secured Batum's autograph on the back of his ticket.
As the celebration commenced, the lawsuit says, a Rose Quarter employee asked to see Chernobelsky's court-side ticket. Then security guards escorted Chernobelsky up an elevator and toward an exit, the lawsuit says.
Near the doors, the lawsuit says, Chernobelsky asked the guards to return his Batum-autographed ticket. Chernobelsky's lawyer, Jason Kafoury, says when the guards refused that request, Chernobelsky told them he wasn't leaving without the ticket and said he would call his lawyer.
According to the lawsuit, the guards then "proceeded to grab, detain, handcuff and escort the plaintiff to a dark room where the plaintiff was required to remain against his will." Police arrived and charged Chernobelsky with second-degree criminal trespassing, but court records show the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office later dismissed the case.
Kafoury says Rose Garden employees eventually returned Chernobelsky's autographed ticket.
The suit names two defendants—Rip City Management, which owns the Rose Garden, and security company Coast to Coast Event Services.
A spokeswoman for the Rose Garden has not yet returned a phone call seeking comment.