Yankee Stadium jumper banned for life, could face jail

Updated: August 9, 2006, 10:20 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A baseball fan who jumped from the upper deck at Yankee Stadium onto the netting behind home plate has been banned for life from the ballpark and could be sent to jail, a judge said Wednesday.

Scott Harper, 19, of Armonk, N.Y., pleaded guilty Wednesday to reckless endangerment following last season's plunge at the New York Yankees' Bronx stadium. District Attorney Robert Johnson recommended probation and restitution to the Yankees, but Harper rejected the deal.

Harper's criminal sentence, to be handed down Sept. 19, will depend on the outcome of another case in Westchester County for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, state Supreme Court Judge Troy Webber said.

The district attorney's office recommended 30 days in jail; Harper had faced up to a year.

A telephone message left at Harper's home was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Harper dropped about 40 feet onto the large net, which stops foul balls from flying back into the stands, during the eighth inning of an Aug. 10, 2005, game against the Chicago White Sox. The game was delayed for four minutes while he was removed.

After the final out, Harper was carried from the ballpark on a stretcher, his head immobilized in a neck brace, and taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released.

Harper told three friends with whom he was sitting that he was going to test whether the net would hold his weight and then jumped, police said.

After landing, he sat with his head in his hands for a few moments before climbing on the net back up to the middle level of seats while players watched and the crowd roared. He then was hoisted over the railing and led away by security.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press