Fan arrested, charged after allegedly hitting Browns owner Jimmy Haslam with water bottle
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A fan was arrested for assault after allegedly throwing a water bottle and hitting Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam near the end of the team's loss to the New York Jets on Sunday.
Jeffrey Miller, 51, was charged with assault, disorderly conduct and failure to comply, Cleveland police said Tuesday. He was captured on stadium video surveillance throwing the bottle.
The Jets had just scored a go-ahead touchdown with 22 seconds left in the contest on a pass from quarterback Joe Flacco to receiver Garrett Wilson when Haslam was seen on video getting hit by the bottle as he was walking toward an end zone tunnel.
The Browns owner stopped and pointed in the direction the bottle was thrown from.
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Miller initially ignored officers instructing him to stop, according to the police report. When he was detained, Miller told police the projectile “never hit the field” as he was being escorted to a holding room inside the stadium.
He was later booked and held in the Cuyahoga County Jail. Police said Miller appeared to be intoxicated at the time of his apprehension.
The Browns said in a statement the team will not tolerate fan behavior that puts the safety of others at risk.
“Fan, player and staff safety is the top priority in our building and behavior that puts others in danger will not be tolerated,” team spokesman Peter Jean-Baptiste said.
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“Luckily no one was harmed in this incident and as a standard practice, we’ve cooperated with law enforcement authorities and security video footage of the object being thrown is in the appropriate hands,” he continued.
The team reportedly plans to ban Miller from FirstEnergy Stadium.
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The Browns were leading 30-17 with 1:55 left before the Jets scored 14 points in a minute to secure the 31-30 victory.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.