Police: Alcohol a factor in fan's fatal fall
ESPN.com news services
Updated: May 22, 2008, 5:12 PM ET
ATLANTA -- Alcohol was a factor in the death of a 25-year-old man who fell down a stairwell at Turner Field during a game between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets.
Justin Hayes of Cumming, Ga., suffered head injuries Wednesday night and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. He fell about 150 feet from the club level to the landing on the field level during the eighth inning.
The investigation is "pointing toward drinking. Alcohol was a factor," said Atlanta police department spokesman Ronald Campbell on Thursday.
Campbell said Hayes may have been sliding down the handrails when he fell.
"We are still waiting for the police report to be completed," Campbell said. "We had officers working at the game."
Mark Guilbeau, the senior investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office, said an autopsy will be performed.
The Braves issued a statement Thursday expressing sympathy for Hayes' family.
"The Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Police Department are investigating the tragic accident that resulted in the death of a 25-year old male fan at last night's game," the statement said. "Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences go out to his family."
Braves spokeswoman Beth Marshall said the team had no additional comment pending the investigation.
Turner Field, built for the 1996 Olympics, has been the Braves' home stadium since 1997. The Braves said it's the first nonmedical fatality at the stadium.
Earlier this season, a fan at Shea Stadium in New York was killed when he plunged four stories from an escalator during a game. According to media reports, witnesses said the man was perched on the escalator handrail when he lost his balance and fell.