Fan pleads not guilty in stadium fall

Updated: December 3, 2013, 6:14 PM ET
Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- A football fan who slid down a stadium railing during a Buffalo Bills game and fell onto a spectator below pleaded not guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor charges.

Robert Hopkins, 29, was released without bail following his appearance in Orchard Park Town Court on charges of assault and reckless endangerment.

He declined to speak with reporters.

"This was an accident, plain and simple," Hopkins' attorney, Jeffrey Bochiechio, said after the hearing. "My client already apologized to the other man involved in the incident. There's really nothing more to say."

The charges carry a maximum one-year jail term.

Hopkins was charged three days after being caught on video sliding down a 300-level railing at Ralph Wilson Stadium and then toppling backward and falling about 30 feet into the 200 section during the Bills' Nov. 17 game against the Jets.

Hopkins and the fan he landed on were taken to a hospital and released later that day.

The Bills then permanently banned Hopkins from Ralph Wilson Stadium. The fall also apparently cost him his job at a public relations firm. With the video widely circulating online two days after the fall, his former employer issued a statement saying Hopkins no longer worked there.

Hopkins is due back in court on Jan. 28.


Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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