The football fan who fell from the top deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium into the stands below Nov. 17 pleaded not guilty to assault and reckless endangerment charges Tuesday in Orchard Park Town Court.
Robert A. Hopkins, 29, of Buffalo, appeared with his attorney before Town Justice Edward A. Pace.
Pace released Hopkins on his own recognizance after the arraignment. Hopkins declined to comment as he left court.
“This is an accident, plain and simple,” said his lawyer, Jeffrey Bochiechio.
“My client already apologized to the other man involved in the incident. There’s really nothing more to say,” Bochiechio said outside Town Court.
Bochiechio said Hopkins should be released on his own recognizance because he is a “young professional,” who owns his own home and has no prior criminal record. Hopkins is due back in court Jan. 28.
Hopkins could be seen sliding in a seated position down a railing in the 300 level during a game against the New York Jets and then toppling backward and falling 20 to 25 feet into the 200 section.
Authorities said he landed on another fan. Both men were taken to a hospital and later released.
Hopkins hurt his shoulder, while the man he struck suffered a head and neck injury.
The Erie County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 20 charged Hopkins with third-degree assault and second-degree reckless endangerment – both misdemeanors.
The Bills on Nov. 18 banned Hopkins from the stadium because of the incident.
Hopkins also lost his job in advertising and public relations with Eric Mower + Associates.