It took less than half an hour for the six-member jury found the 29-year-old Robert Hopkins, of Buffalo, guilty Tuesday of both charges against him. He could face up to a year in jail when he's sentenced on Sept. 11.
Stadium surveillance video revealed that Hopkins slid partway down a railing and climbed back up to his seat several times before falling backward on his fifth slide. He tumbled 20 to 25 feet and landed on another man, injuring his head, neck and back.
Hopkins was not seriously hurt in the incident but later lost his job in advertising and public relations and was banned from the stadium.
Hopkins admited to sliding down the railing four times before falling, and said that he does not believe he was drunk at the time of his fall during testimony on Tuesday.
Hopkins was charged in November after being caught on video sliding down a 300-level railing at Ralph Wilson Stadium during a game and toppling backward into the 200 section.
Hopkins and the fan he landed on were taken to a hospital and released later that day.
The accident occurred during the second quarter of Buffalo's 37-14 win over the New York Jets in November 2013.
At that time, The Buffalo Bills issued this statement:
“The irresponsible behavior that occurred at yesterday’s game by the fan who fell from the upper deck is a violation of our Fan Code of Conduct and cannot, and will not, be tolerated. This individual will not be permitted back into Ralph Wilson Stadium. The vast majority of our fans who attend Bills home games at Ralph Wilson Stadium do so in a responsible manner and we continue to work diligently to eliminate those individuals who violate our Fan Code of Conduct from game days at our stadium. We are cooperating with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office during their investigation of this incident and we want to extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery to the fan who was injured in the 200 level.”
CBS inadvertently aired the incident in a wide shot from the far end zone,and another fan captured it on a cell phone
. (Warning: Video may be disturbing to some viewers.)
Video of the fan falling, posted on Vine, can be seen below.