Three charged over FA Cup disorder
Three men have been charged by police investigating disorder which marred Aston Villa's FA Cup quarter-final victory over West Bromwich Albion.
West Midlands Police said the men, aged between 26 and 37, had been charged with offences connected to the match after officers made a total of 17 arrests inside and outside Villa Park.
Play was halted in the closing minutes of Saturday's cup tie at Villa Park after home supporters invaded the playing surface before the final whistle.
Away fans also threw missiles, including seats, during the second half of the match, while police had to form cordons to keep rival supporters apart.
Police said Matthew Fox, 27, from Stourbridge, has been charged with assaulting a police officer and bailed to appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on March 19.
Meanwhile, 37-year-old Matthew Owen, a designer from Walsall, has been charged with using threatening words or behaviour with intent. He has been bailed to appear at the same court on the same date.
Unemployed David Moore, 26, from Birmingham, has been charged with failing to comply with a football banning notice and was due to appear in court today.
Police have also issued six men with fixed penalty notices for public order offences or being drunk and disorderly. Two other men suspected of assaulting a police officer have been bailed pending further inquiries, while a 16-year-old boy from Kingswinford, near Dudley, has been cautioned for using threatening words or behaviour.
Chief Superintendent Chris Johnson, from West Midlands Police, said: "We carried out a large policing operation for the FA Cup on Saturday evening to ensure supporters could enjoy the game in a safe environment.
"An investigation has been launched to identify people involved in a disturbance before the match at the Witton Arms pub.
"Anyone who saw what happened should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111."
Police say the timing of the match was fully discussed with both clubs ahead of the game.
Inspector Howard Lewis-Jones added: "We were approached by Aston Villa with the proposed later kick off time and expressed concerns that this increased the likelihood of alcohol-fuelled disorder.
"As a result we increased the policing resources to deal with this increased threat.
"The encroachment of the pitch by Aston Villa supporters was a disappointing end to an exciting local derby and we continue to work with the Football Association and the club to identify those involved."
The Football Association has contacted both Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion to request their observations in relation to the "disturbing" crowd trouble which occurred during and after Villa's 2-0 win.