Buffalo Bills Fan Who Fell In Stadium Stunt Is Now Banned From Stadium, Fired From Job, And Faces Criminal Charges

bills-fan-upper-deck-fallWe have often discussed the worsening environment at football games for people who want to just watch the game with family and friends. American football is going the way of soccer with drunk and obnoxious fans ruining the games with continual profanity, fighting, and taunting. Rob Hopkins, a Buffalo Bills fan, is the poster boy for this trend. Hopkins decided to slide down the upper deck railing without any thought of the people below him. He fell from the upper deck on to a fan seated in the section below during the game against the New York Jets. The shoulder injury from the 30 foot fall is now the least of his problems. He has been banned from the stadium, fired from his job, and could be looking at a criminal charge. All for being a certifiable idiot.

The first response came from Hopkins’ favorite team. The feeling is not mutual. Bills’ President and CEO Russ Brandon issued a statement that

“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.”

BZT5aKkIIAExc85A person in the stadium tweeted the picture to the left and claimed that it is the man who fell from the upper deck. Hopkins reportedly assured everyone after his fell that he was okay. His victim was not. Both ultimately had to go to the hospital. The victim clearly has a tort actions against Hopkins for negligence and even battery under a substantial certainty or reckless conduct theory of intent.

The victim could also sue the stadium for the lack of barrier protections in the upper deck. That can be a more difficult case since no team can entirely protect against idiots like Hopkins without blocking the view and movement of fans. Falling fans are a recurring problem for stadiums as with the case with the recent death at a Braves game. Some of these cases involve children who fall from upper decks. This litigation includes lawsuits by fans injured by other falling fans as in the case involving the Bengals.

Hopkins may also face criminal charges. The most likely would be misdemeanor charges of third-degree assault or reckless endangerment. If so, he will do so as an unemployed person. He was the art director at Eric Mower and Associates, a Buffalo advertising and public relations agency. The company issued a statement that “EMA is very concerned about Sunday’s incident at the Buffalo Bills’ game and we are relieved that the injured were released from the hospital. Rob Hopkins is no longer employed by EMA.”

20 thoughts on “Buffalo Bills Fan Who Fell In Stadium Stunt Is Now Banned From Stadium, Fired From Job, And Faces Criminal Charges

  1. We get in trouble here in the dogpac for calling people “retards”. The employment of the word “idiot” is apparently ok on this blog. I just want you to know that the correct spulling is: idjit.

  2. An “idjit” is what a Buffalo Bill Fan is by definition.

    What I do not understand from the article is whether the idjit here knew he would slide off and down onto the lower deck and land on some seating structure and person.

  3. Dumb stunts like this aside, I am amazed there have not been more falls from upper decks. The barriers seem way too low. Since I haven’t been to a major league game since we moved away from St. Louis, the only thing I know about the new football/baseball stadiums is what I see on TV. I never liked upper decks and would not accept a seat under the lip of one for this very reason. We go to NASCAR races occasionally, and their safety precautions are impressive.

    Of all major sports, NASCAR seems to be the most reactive anytime there is a serious or fatal accident. The dust hardly settles before engineers are working on a fix. Just expelling a fan for a stupid stunt is not enough. Management needs to take into consideration there are going to be stupid and careless people who have their bravery fueled by a few beers–and that Murphy’s Law is still in effect.

  4. Stupidity is often a capital crime with a self-inflicted sentence. He’s lucky he did not die. Had he it would have been worth a Darwin Award.

    Is it possible to eliminate stupidity and its inherent reward? I must admit to having done stupid things betimes and getting lucky. (Flying into that box canyon in a snowstorm in a VFR-only craft is right up there.)

    No matter what wise prevention measures are taken there is always room for stupid to perform. (You do not have to be smart to be a politician.)

  5. Arthur, I made the quick decision to get out before the canyon got narrower. A high-g 180 almost touching the right and then the left wall did the trick.

  6. He is not a bright person. I’m not sure if I would use it as the impetus to fire them. Being this dumb would make it seem like it was only a matter of time before he was dumb at work.

  7. Good he should be banned. I stopped going to FB games back in the early 90’s. I saw this coming long long ago. It became so I didn’t enjoy the games, people spilling beer on me (accidentally) the yelling, obnoxious behavior just revolting, Imho. Now I stay warm & “occasionally” watch from the comfort of my living room. It’s not what it use to be when the big rivals were Dallas and Washington….Even went to Superbowl XVII in Tampa. The game stunk but the half-time show was unforgettable, even back then :) Sure do miss those by-gone “glory” days.

  8. I wish you had spoken to whether a company can fire someone for something like this, especially since he hasn’t been charged with a crime and, at this point, merely did something stupid on television. Seems like HE may have a wrongful termination case.

  9. Take me out of the ball game…. Give me some beer and I’ll act like a quack… Give me more than one, two and I’ll throw my shoes…. At the good ole game….

    Stupid is…..this defining moment….

  10. maybe now he’ll get some act right. smh there isnt that much beer in the world for anyone to think they can just slide down poles like that. its been tried and over and over again and i havent read one story of anyone who succeeded when drunk and acting a fool and while they’re the ones acting fools others like the guy he fell on. end up hurt. and all because he had the misfortune of his seat being right next to where the “idjit” borrowed from humpindog. idiant is the next spulling.. its a cross of savant idiot or vice versa lol but anyway its where the ( idjit idiant ) decided to practice his spiderman moves….

    definition of idiant: someone who knows something is definitely wrong has seen the problems caused by said actions and yet thinks he/she will be the one to make it work right!!!!

  11. Joshzzzz: Unless he had an employment agreement which restricted the employer (or worked for a public entity), the employer can fire him for any reason unless that reason is illegal. Generally, firing someone for being an idiot on or off the job is not barred.

  12. Perhaps there is a general decline in the atmosphere at NFL games as you state in the opening of this post, but that is certainly not the case in Philadelphia. The move from the Vet to Lincoln Financial Field 10 years ago drastically changed the atmosphere at games, and it seems to get less confrontational every year. Fans from opposing teams now routinely wear their teams’ colors at the Linc without experiencing any problems.

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