ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Buffalo Bills fan who spawned an internet frenzy when he fell from the stands at Ralph Wilson Stadium is now on trial in Orchard Park.
Potential jurors were a little surprised to hear Rob Hopkins’ attorney freely admit Wednesday his client was the one who fell out of the stands at Ralph Wilson Stadium and onto another fan. But Hopkins’ attorneys have always said this was an accident, not a crime.
Now, that’s up to a jury to decide.
We’ve learned the three men, three women, and one alternate on the jury will be shown another video, which shows Hopkins sliding down the rail up to five times before he finally lost his balance and toppled onto the section below.
The fan he’s charged with injuring, Mark Bratcher, will testify along with about 20 other witnesses. The trial is expected to last about four days, and it all centers on recklessness.
Hopkins is charged with reckless endangerment and third-degree assault. Both of those misdemeanor crimes require prosecutors to prove Hopkins was acting recklessly.
One thing that was interesting about jury selection was several potential jurors had very strong feelings about rowdy behavior that takes place at Bills games. The jurors are all Orchard Park residents and several live near the stadium.
They were able to find six jurors and one alternate who promised to have an open mind. Opening statements begin Thursday morning at 9 a.m.
Hopkins has been banned from Ralph Wilson Stadium for the rest of his life. If found guilty, he faces up to one year in jail.