PORT ST. LUCIE — A Colorado woman charged with trespassing at First Data Field told officials she was there because she’s in a relationship with Tim Tebow, according to a police report.
Michelle Marie Thompson, 36, of Arvada, Colorado, was arrested Feb. 28 and charged with trespassing, according to the report. There was a 1:10 p.m. game at the field that day against the Detroit Tigers in the third game of the New York Mets’ spring training season.
About 5 p.m. Feb. 26, New York Mets staff members reported a woman, later identified as Thompson, hanging around the complex since early in the morning and asking questions about Tebow, who had arrived that day for Minor League Baseball camp.
An officer asked the woman for her driver’s license and noticed a small sticker on the back that stated “I (heart symbol) Jesus/Tim Tebow.”
When asked why she was there, Thompson said she was there to see Tebow. When asked why she wanted to see him, Thompson said she and Tebow were in a relationship.
The officer asked her what kind of relationship she was in with Tebow, and Thompson said she didn’t feel it was appropriate to answer that question.
When the officer asked again if the relationship was friendly, platonic, romantic or matrimonial, Thompson giggled and said “all of the above.”
Thompson said her Colorado address wasn’t current because she was living with Tebow in Jacksonville.
Paul Taglieri, the Mets executive director of minor league facilities, said Thompson had been walking across the complex since early that morning looking for and asking questions about Tebow, and Taglieri wanted her removed from the property.
Thompson was told to return to her vehicle and leave the area. When she asked where she should go, the officer told her it was probably best for her to leave St. Lucie County.
Two days later, on Feb. 28, Robert Kasdon, the Mets vice president of security, reported Thompson had ignored the warning and was back on the property.
The Mets had an away game against the Miami Marlins in Jupiter at 1:05 p.m. that day.
Thompson remained in the St. Lucie County Jail on Friday with a $750 bail.
Taglieri declined to comment Friday about the incidents.
Tebow, a former University of Florida and NFL quarterback and Heisman trophy winner, said after Friday’s game against the Houston Astros he feels safe at First Data Field, especially as someone who likes to interact with fans.
“It’s not like you can do it all the time — see every fan — it’s not realistic,” Tebow said. “But you can try to make someone’s day every day, and that’s something that I look forward to, and you try to find the right people to do that — preferably who aren’t selling something on eBay.
“You try to find the real fans out there, thank them for their support and try to put a smile on their face.”
Mets personnel tell team members if they ever have an issue in or around First Data Field to come back to the complex or call 911, said Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson. The team also has a security meeting when the spring training season starts, he said.
He said a lot of members from visiting teams notice fans are closer to the players than they’re used to because of the way the facility is set up.
“Watching and being in the stands is one thing,” Granderson said, “but there are some places here, if you walk around, you get a sense of, ‘wow, they’re really close.’”
Asked how he handles distractions in situations like these, Tebow said he just tries to focus on what’s next.
“I wish (Thompson) the best and pray for her (and) want her to get as much help that she needs as possible,” Tebow said. “But, at the same time, as an athlete, you learn to compartmentalize. It’s not always easy, but it’s something that you have to try to do.”
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