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Man recovering from broken neck suffered at Yankee Stadium

7/14/2007 - MLB New York Yankees

NEW YORK -- A tourist who suffered a broken neck at Yankee
Stadium when another fan fell on him is recovering from his
injuries.

Paul Robinson, 53, of Kirkland, Wash., was sitting in the
stadium's steep upper deck with his wife and 13-year-old son last
Sunday when an unidentified fan standing above him took a violent
tumble down several rows of seats.

"His neck is in a big brace. He's not paralyzed. Luckily, the
surgery was very, very successful," said Steven Osborne, a
spokesman for Montefiore Medical Center. "And this is a miracle,
because that vertebrae, if you go a fraction of an inch, you're
paralyzed, or you can't breathe."

The man crashed into Robinson's head, breaking his vertebrae,
then came to rest in the next row.

"It felt like my head had been ripped off," Robinson told the
Daily News from his hospital bed.

EMTs took Robinson to the hospital, where surgeons put a screw
in his neck to help it heal.

The man who fell was dragged away by his friends and never
bothered to apologize or check how badly Robinson was hurt. The
family believes he was drunk.

"I found it odd that they didn't even ask if Paul was OK,"
Robinson's wife, Kathy, told the Daily News. "It's very steep up
there, but if it was an innocent trip, they would ask if Paul was
OK."

The family was on an East Coast baseball pilgrimage at the time
of the accident. They had planned to go next to the Baseball Hall
of Fame in Cooperstown and then head to Boston for a game at Fenway
Park.

The accident was similar to one that happened in April during a
Mets game at Shea Stadium.

In that case, a 58-year-old woman suffered a broken back when a
very large drunk crashed into her during a fall. The woman, who
cracked several vertebrae, is now suing the team and its beer
vendor.