Comic Elayne Boosler can't talk her way out of handbag at Dodger Stadium. She was handcuffed

Comedian Elayne Boosler says she was arrested and held in handcuffs for two hours Sunday at Dodger Stadium after arguing with an employee who would not let her enter with a purse that violated the stadium’s clear bag policy.

In a 3½-minute video posted to Boosler’s YouTube channel later that day, the 71-year-old said she eventually was allowed to leave on her own, without being sent “to jail downtown.”

But the “Party of One” star made it clear she still had a beef with the Dodgers organization, in particular the employee who wouldn’t let her pass with a non-see-through bag that was decorated like a baseball to watch the Dodgers play the New York Mets.

“Shame on you, Dodger Stadium. Shame on you,” said Boosler, who in the video displayed bruises on her wrists that she said were from the handcuffs. “You know me. I’ve done so much free work for you for decades. And even if I wasn’t me, if I was just a customer who was coming to the game, to be treated like that, for anyone to be treated like that is so awful. You need to talk to your personnel and you really need to get rid of that guy with the tiny, little bit of power who is definitely not a people person.”

Boosler backtracked a bit Tuesday in an email to The Times.

“Of course I don’t want the guy to be fired,” she wrote. “We were both wrong but he was more wrong and it escalated when it shouldn’t have. I went to Dodger games last year with a regular purse and never had an issue so I was pretty surprised about the whole thing.”

She’s still not entirely happy with the Dodgers organization.

“A Dodger executive called me yesterday and apologized and that would have been cool except for the small fib he fed me, which is kind of insulting to women,” she wrote. “He said there was nothing the Dodgers could do about the bag policy because it was MLB policy across the board. Well I looked that up today and MLB leaves bag policy up to individual teams. You can bring a regular purse to Red Sox Yankees Mets Cardinals Cubs etc etc games.”

The Dodgers declined to comment for this story.

In her video, Boosler states that her bag was “10 inches across.” According to the bag policy on the Dodgers’ website, the only non-clear bags allowed must be smaller than 5 inches by 8 inches by 2 inches in size. Based on the bag policies on the websites of the other five teams Boosler mentions, it does appear her bag would have been permitted at those teams’ stadiums.

Boosler also said in her email to The Times that the Dodgers representative who called her “also said the Dodgers send 200 to 300 women a game back to their cars to leave their purses. Why is that acceptable to anyone? Men go into the stadium with non-clear fanny packs, bursting pockets, whatever, and women are forced to carry Purses by Reynolds Wrap with feminine hygiene products sticking out and enough cash so pick pockets know exactly whom to hit up.”

She added: “Enough already. Treat women better.”

Boosler is known as a pioneer for women in the world of stand-up comedy, finding success in the 1970s and 1980s when the field was largely dominated by men. In 2018, she was included in CNN’s list of “Groundbreaking women in American comedy.” She has appeared in The Times as a contributor, writing appreciation pieces for late comedians Judy Tenuta in 2022 and Richard Lewis last month, and an opinion piece on comic strips in 2003.

Aside from her critical comments about the Dodgers and their bag policy, Boosler did bring the jokes in her email to The Times two days after the incident. In response to one question, she wrote: “My wrists were pretty injured, but nothing that say a Rolex from the Dodgers wouldn’t make feel better. You know, just the cool temp of it …”

Asked if there was anything she wished she had done differently Sunday, Boosler responded: “Yes. I wish I had gone to a Giants game.”

After everything that happened, does she plan to attend Dodgers games in the future?

“Yes,” Boosler wrote. “When they play at Citi Field.”

In her YouTube video, Boosler said she was set to attend the Mets-Dodgers game that afternoon with her nephew and his 8-year-old child. “I was so excited to bring my new little baseball bag into the stadium,” she said.

“They said, ‘Nope, you have to bring it back to the car or throw it away,’” Boosler stated in the video. “And I said, ‘Wow, the car — let’s see, we paid $50 to park a mile away and it’s 80 degrees and the tickets were $300 in the secondary market. And nowhere did I see it say it has to be a clear bag. You should let me in.’”

Boosler said that the discussion “got heated” and she did drop “an F-bomb” but the conversation overall “was quiet.”

Her nephew and his child were allowed to enter, Boosler said, but she was told she would “be arrested for trespassing” if she didn’t leave.

“I said, ‘Fine. Arrest me,’” she said in the video. “So they did. They arrested me, they cuffed me behind my back, they put me in a black and white squad car.”

Boosler added: “I have to say the cops, man and woman, were very nice. Yes, I’m white, I know that, but they were nice. Anyway, got to the Dodger Stadium office — they had to press charges ‘cause the guy wouldn’t give up. And the people in the office were pretty nice actually, even though I was handcuffed behind my back and then handcuffed to a bench.”

After two hours, Boosler said, “Finally they said, ‘Well, if you agree to leave, you know, we don’t have to send you to jail downtown.’ And I said, ‘OK, I guess so.’ And so I did leave in a squad car to go call a car to come.”

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department told The Times he was unable to confirm any of Boosler’s story but said there was no record of her being booked Sunday.

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