Bills fan who fell on man gets community service

September 11, 2014

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- A Buffalo Bills fan who fell from the upper deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium and injured another spectator last year has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service.

A jury found Robert Hopkins guilty of assault and reckless endangerment following a three-day trial in June.

He could have received up to a year in jail at his sentencing Thursday evening in Orchard Park Town Court. Instead, the judge imposed community service and a $1,000 fine.

Stadium video surveillance 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 Mark Bratcher, injuring the man's head, neck and back.

Before hearing his sentence, Hopkins apologized.