Buffalo Bills Fan Found Guilty of Crimes After Falling in Stadium (Video)
Buffalo Bills fan Robert Hopkins was found guilty of second-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree assault on Monday.
Hopkins was caught on surveillance video (below) at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, N.Y., sliding down a rail on the upper deck and falling on another fan below on Nov. 17, 2013, during a game between the Bills and the New York Jets.
Hopkins reportedly tried the trick successfully four times before slipping and falling 20 to 25 feet, and landing on Mark Bratcher.
“The video speaks for itself,” Assistant District Attorney Michael Drmacich told the Buffalo News. “And I think that the jury came to the same conclusion... It’s great to have video evidence of a crime taking place. It makes it a lot easier as a prosecutor.”
Deadspin.com notes that the jury found Hopkins guilty in just 24 minutes. He could face up to a year in jail on each conviction, but will not be sentenced until Sept. 11.
In court, Hopkins was asked why he repeatedly slid down the railing and gave a typical modern American response: "I really don’t know that I have a reason."
"Just horsing around and not thinking," added Hopkins. "I really didn’t think anything was going to happen or go wrong... I did not think that I was going to fall.”
However, second-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree assault do not require actual intent.
Hopkins' sister Stephanie testified that she and her brother went to the football game with three friends and sat in seats that were not theirs on the upper level.
Stephanie claimed that she told her brother to stop sliding down the railing because it might draw attention and they woud lose the seats.
Bratcher's head, neck and back were injured by Hopkins, whom he plans to sue.
While Hopkins was not seriously injured, he lost his job as a digital art director and was banned from Ralph Wilson Stadium back in Nov. 2013, notes the Associated Press.