Updated at 11 a.m. Sept. 27, 2017
Was Boltman detained nearly a half-hour at Sunday’s Chargers game? Was the longtime superfan threatened by stadium security in Carson over his refusal to shed his mask?
In a 13-minute on-air chat Monday afternoon with a sports talk radio show, Dan Jauregui of Ramona — once an official Chargers mascot as Boltman — contends he escaped being ejected at the StubHub Center when security backed off for fear of bad PR.
“It would have been a media catastrophe” for the Los Angeles Chargers, Jauregui told Scott Kaplan and Linda Welby in a 3:45 p.m. call-in to the Mighty 1090. “They called it off. [A sheriff’s deputy] was just getting ready to take me out.”
In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, Jauregui said he had waltzed through security “like President Trump,” not stopping for a second while wearing his headgear to his first Carson game.
“The alarms went off … and this girl just giggled and said, ‘Hey, Boltman,’” he said. “If they don’t get rid of the ownership, it’s highly unlikely I’ll support the Chargers as Boltman. … They treated me like a criminal. … You can’t even make this stuff up — to harass one of your most recognizable fans.”
Had videographers not been present, he said, he would have been thrown to the ground and wrestled out “like Rodney King.”
The Carson station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday didn’t have a record of the incident, but a spokesman said deputies didn’t eject anyone from the stadium that day. The StubHub Center did not respond to a request for comment.
But Chargers spokesman Josh Rupprecht told Times of San Diego that Jauregui’s on-air claims were “not even remotely accurate.”
Video provided by Jauregui, with footage apparently left out, was not conclusive on whether he was “detained” as he said on the “Scott and BR” radio show. Jauregui promised to release a 25-minute version that backs up his account.
Saying he “wasn’t going to leave without a fight,” Jauregui, 52, described how he refused to take off his plastic mask in the StubHub concourse. He said as many as 10 security people surrounded him and some associates, and deputies were called.
He said a deputy told him: “Either we can go nicely or we can go the uncomfortable way.”
But Jauregui said he was let go to “avoid making a scene” when someone in a low voice spoke into the ear of security. After missing part of the first quarter, Boltman joined other fans in the north end zone to watch the Chiefs defeat the Chargers 24-10.
He complained that no policy was posted to indicate masks were banned just inside the gate, where he was stopped.
A Game Day Guide posted on chargers.com says: “Helmets and plastic head wear are allowed providing the item does not resemble the definitions [of prohibited items.]” But it doesn’t specify where such gear can be worn at games.
Chargers spokesman Rupprecht said in a phone interview that “we negotiated with StubHub Center to allow masks to be worn in your seat. But the policy states you can’t wear your mask in through security, on the concourse or at concessions because it poses a security risk.”
Security can’t tell a masked fan’s intoxication level or whether they’re 21 for the sake of buying a beer, he said.
“Also, if a crime is committed by someone wearing a mask, the concourse cameras can’t identify that person. We’re not trying to take away people’s fun,” Rupprecht said.
Moreover, Rupprecht said, an associate of Boltman contacted the Chargers two days before the game to ask about the mask policy.
“Our ticket office was contacted on Friday by that member of Bolt Pride, who raised the question that if he brought Boltman to the game as his guest on Sunday, would Boltman be subject to the StubHub Center policy on masks?” he said in an email statement.
“Two senior level Ticket Sales & Services employees jointly spoke on the phone with the Bolt Pride member and informed him that yes, Boltman would be subject to the mask policy if he were to come to the game as StubHub Center security was adamant that this policy needed to be enforced uniformly.”
Without using Jauregui’s name, Rupprecht said: “On Sunday, Boltman arrived with the member of Bolt Pride who we spoke to on the phone and entered the gate without his mask. Once inside, Boltman proceeded to put on his mask while on the concourse.”
The new Chargers spokesman said StubHub Center security approached him regarding the issue.
“From our understanding, Boltman, while unhappy, ultimately adhered to the policy,” his statement said. “We did not hear of any further issues during the game.”
Jauregui, who said he also was stopped during a restroom break, disputes elements of that account.
“My friend said that they might stop me for having shoulder pads and we might have to take them off,” he said via email, noting he’s used to strict rules during the 22 years he attended games at Qualcomm Stadium as Boltman.
“One very important thing you should be aware of is we have footage of [me] going through security and no one said anything — didn’t even have me take my mask off or go through any search,” Jauregui said.
“I could have been a terrorist and they would have had a real problem. Hey, [they] let me just walk through with everything on without taking [off] the mask; that’s why I was confused when I came in and they made me take it off after passing the security gate with no pat down or questions asked.
“So where’s the security where it’s really needed?” he said. “We have footage to verify this.”
Video provided by Jauregui doesn’t show him going through a security gate or metal detector. It begins with him posing for photos with fans.
Rupprecht, the Chargers spokesman, said the NFL team and its temporary home are “taking … legitimate security concerns into account but still [want] to be supportive of our most passionate fans.”
So the Chargers “looked for a compromise and negotiated to allow for masks to be worn in stadium, but only while sitting in your seats,” he said. “Boltman and others are absolutely allowed to bring these items into the venue and enjoy the game from their seats while masked or in costume.
“They can be in costume anywhere in the stadium for that matter — they simply cannot wear masks entering the stadium, on the concourse or at concession stands – something that was made clear to a Bolt Pride member inquiring about the shoulder pad and mask issue prior to Sunday’s game.”
On Monday’s radio show, Jauregui was unclear on whether he’d return to StubHub, but in a Tuesday morning tweet, he said: “I may not go to a game there anymore… but I will always support the players.”
Hours later, he told Times of San Diego that he would go back “absolutely if they get rid of the ownership.”
I may not go to a game there anymore… but I will always support the players. And always remain a dedicated passionate Chargers fan.Go Bolt
— Boltman (@BoltmanTweets) September 26, 2017
He said he’d heard rumors that StubHub rules say “you can’t even paint your face and put a wig on” outside the seats.
“I tell you what — when the Raiders come to town, they’d better bring some heavy, heavy armored police officers,” Jauregui said. “These guys are brutal. You think I’m bad?”