COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A die-hard Braves fan told Channel 2 Action News he was arrested inside SunTrust Park on Thursday night after the glass barrier in front of him shattered. It happened during Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
It was captured on another fan's Facebook Live.
"It's an exciting moment. I'm cheering. The whole section is cheering, and I slap my hands, open hands. You can hear my wedding ring, 'Click, click, click,' and amazingly, the glass shatters," Larry Zimmerman said, implying the damage was not purposeful.
Zimmerman said his steel wedding ring caused the glass to break.
He said a security guard came and made him leave his seat in Section 329. Then, he found himself in handcuffs.
He was charged with second-degree criminal damage, which is a felony.
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"I gotta face a felony charge for doing this on a barrier, and there's a safety issue. What if I had been there with my granddaughter? They could easily stand there and bang on the wall like this," he said.
According to the arrest warrant, Zimmerman intentionally damaged the barrier when he punched and kicked it.
A Braves spokesperson told Channel 2's Christian Jennings that security told Zimmerman to stop kicking the glass prior to it shattering.
Zimmerman said he never punched the wall but admits he did kick it several innings prior during a cheer.
"Earlier in the game with Keuchel pitching, we were screaming, ‘Keuchel, Keuchel,' and we would kick the barrier. ‘Boom, boom, boom,'" he said.
He said he never dreamed the glass would break. He wants the felony charge dropped.
"It was my wedding ring. The way the ring just hit it. It's physics. I get that, but that still doesn't seem completely safe," he said.
Zimmerman says he's been banned from SunTrust Park for a year.
A Braves spokesperson explained on the phone to Channel 2's Christian Jennings that because Zimmerman was kicking the glass repeatedly, the glass had already been compromised when he hit it with his wedding ring.
The spokesperson also said the glass is safe and that in three years, this is the second time a barrier has shattered like this. No one was hurt in either instance.
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