Bills Fan’s Wild Arrest at Home Opener Gets Viral Attention

Buffalo Bills fans

Getty Buffalo Bills fans cheer on the team during a game on September 17, 2023.

The Buffalo Bills had a very good day on Sunday, erasing the pain of their season-opening loss to the New York Jets by pounding the Las Vegas Raiders in the home opener.

But the day wasn’t so great for one 29-year-old fan, who was arrested on September 17 after a bizarre incident outside the stadium that ended up attracting national attention. Police said the fan, who they said admitted to drinking and taking drugs before the game, wound up at the bottom of a deep hole where construction is taking place on the team’s new stadium — and the story only got stranger from there.


Police Detail Strange Arrest

As Syracuse.com’s Ryan Talbot reported, word of the fan’s arrest started to attract attention after details were shared on the WNY Fire Alerts just before the 1 p.m. kickoff of Sunday’s game. The report noted that emergency services received a “trauma” call from 1 Bills Drive, the site of Highmark Stadium and across the street from where the team’s new stadium is being constructed.

“Victim Jumped a Fence in the Construction Area & Fell Down a Hole (Unknown how Deep the Hole is),” the report noted. “Victim has been Extricated from the Hole, AMR is Transporting to ECMC [Erie County Medical Center].”

The Erie County Sheriff’s Department added more details the following day, saying that the fan admitted to being under the influence of several different drugs including cocaine, marijuana and LSD, according to WIVB.com. Police said he then went into a portable toilet and covered himself in “human excrement,” according to the outlet, and jumped a 10-foot fence when officers approached, falling into a hole police estimated as 30 feet deep.

“When you’re taking LSD, cocaine and marijuana, you’re going to not read the signs. You’re not going to read anything,” said Erie County Sheriff John Garcia, according to WIVB.com. “You wouldn’t be in a porta potty jumping inside it, covered yourself with human excrement, you wouldn’t be doing that. This is a very isolated issue.”

According to Talbot on Syracuse.com, the man was “charged with misdemeanor trespassing and issued an appearance ticket for Orchard Park Town Court and transferred to Buffalo General Medical Center with multiple scratches.”


Story Brings National Attention

The fan’s arrest and the strange circumstances that surrounded it brought some viral attention to Buffalo, with a number of national outlets picking up on the story including USA Today. The newspaper’s report noted that the story runs counter to the reputation Bills fans have gained for being mostly good-natured and generous.

“Bills Mafia is well-regarded as one of the greatest American sports fanbases,” the report noted. “They’re rowdy, unpredictable, passionate, and yet humble enough to keep out of other fanbases’ doghouses. Whether it’s jumping onto tables, going shirtless in the dead of winter, or shoveling players’ driveways so they can get to the airport, Buffalo Bills fans have always found ways to one-up everyone else in America. That said, there are still some less than savory individuals making news.”

The fan arrested outside the game not only missed a chance to see the Bills blow out the Raiders in a 38-10 win, but also may have missed a celebrity sighting. Television cameras captured what some believe was an appearance by actress Hailee Steinfeld, who has been romantically connected to Bills quarterback Josh Allen.

According to WIVB, one other fan was arrested at the game and charged with harassment after police said he tried to fight other people, and eight fans were ejected from the game.

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