Local soccer fan receives assist from global star
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida soccer fan was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct, but the soccer superstar he broke the law to meet, is giving him some support.
Signed, sealed and delivered to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office: a letter from an international superstar.
"My name is Cristiano Ronaldo, and I play football (Soccer) for Real Madrid. I was playing at Sun Life Stadium last month when a fan entered the field."
It was the moment cheered on by a packed house Aug. 7. A fan ran onto the field to meet the beloved star. The two shared a hug and even chatted before the fan was escorted off the field.
"He said, 'I'm going to take care for you. The cops will not touch you.' Then he put his arm around me and told the cops to calm down, take it easy," Ronald Gjoka said.
Gjoka was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing. Now his superstar idol is hoping to keep him from being prosecuted. "I understand your position and the importance of enforcing rules and laws. However, I respectfully request that you and your office reconsider this decision and dismiss the two criminal charges this young man faces," Ronaldo said in a letter.
Not only is the 19-year-old college student facing criminal charges but also deportation, something the soccer star is hoping does not happen. "I am concerned because I understand he may face potential problems with immigration and with his college if the criminal charges against him are not dismissed," Ronaldo wrote.
While it is not the first time a fan has rushed the field during a sporting event, it's one of the few times a player has come to that fan's defense.
"It appears that he has an extremely bright future," Ronaldo stated, "and I do not want to see that future detrimentally affected by this mistake in judgment."
The end of the letter signed, "Christiano Ronaldo."
"You never hear of anybody doing this," Gjoka said. "Christiano is one of the greatest athletes and one of the greatest human beings with one of the biggest hearts."
Gjoka's next hearing is set for Thursday, Oct. 17. Any effect Ronaldo's letter will have on Gjoka's fate is yet to be seen.
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