Fan falls from deck at NY stadium - New York News

Fan falls from deck at NY stadium

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Authorities say charges are possible after an unruly fan fell from the third deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium and landed on another man during Sunday's Bills' game against the New York Jets.

Video shows the fan sliding down a handrail in a seated position before flipping backward and falling about 30 feet into the stands below.

Erie County sheriff's spokeswoman Mary Murray says the incident is under investigation and charges may be filed. Investigators aren't releasing the names of those involved or commenting on the condition of either man on Monday.

A statement from the Bills on Sunday said both were taken to a hospital.

Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon said:  "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.”

Season ticket-holder Jeff Savidge, of Rochester, said play on the field had stopped for a television timeout when the falling fan suddenly landed across the neck and shoulders of a man across the aisle from him.

"He kind of bounced off him and landed about two rows down on the ground," Savidge said in an interview. "I heard somebody scream from behind us, 'Oh my God!' or something like that."

The man who fell got up and said he was OK but was stopped by security from leaving, Savidge said. Arriving emergency workers put a neck brace on him and carried him away on a chair stretcher, he said.

A security officer, meanwhile, held the head of the fan who was struck to keep him from moving as he sat upright in his seat awaiting medical attention, Savidge said. He was carried out on a backboard.

"As much as it was kind of chaotic, everybody was in control," he said.

The Bills' ban on the man sliding down the railing was supported by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who said the fan "has shown that he is a danger to himself and others."

"Yesterday's reckless and dangerous incident at Ralph Wilson Stadium is an example of the type of behavior that gives Buffalo a bad reputation and that can never be tolerated, dismissed or accepted," Poloncarz said.

The Bills lease the stadium from the county.

Brandon said the team is cooperating with an Erie County Sheriff's investigation of the incident. Sheriff's spokeswoman Mary Murray, citing the investigation, did not release the names of the men. She said charges are possible.

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