A fan accused of throwing an object that struck UNLV football coach John Robinson during a game against Nevada pleaded guilty to a battery charge and will serve five days in jail, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Reno Justice Court Judge Jack Schroeder initially sentenced Kevan Old, 31, Reno, to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, the maximum for the simple misdemeanor.
But the judge suspended the sentence, which means it will not be enforced as long as Old serves the five days in the Washoe County jail and complies with other court directives, including attending an anger management class and staying off the school campus for a year.
Old entered the plea late Tuesday as part of a plea-bargain agreement with Washoe County prosecutors.
"This is a very serious crime as far as the state is concerned, as far as UNR and the victim are concerned, but compared to other cases, we believe this was a fair negotiation," Deputy District Attorney Tammy Riggs said Wednesday.
"We believe five days in jail will be a sufficient deterrent not only for Mr. Old but also for the community in general for sports fans who feel a need to insert themselves into the game instead of watching from the stands," she told The Associated Press.
In addition to the jail time, Old must attend a six-month-long anger management program, Riggs said.
"He also has been ordered to stay away from the University of Nevada campus and all UNR events in Washoe County for the following year, and not to take any drugs or imbibe in alcohol for the following year," she said.
Tom Mitchell, Old's court-appointed attorney, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment on Wednesday.
Old told AP last month following his arraignment he did not understand why he was being singled out among dozens of other fans who showered the rival Rebels with empty containers as the team left the field at halftime on Oct. 4.
"The public humiliation has been horrible," said Old, a youth baseball coach and single father of an 11-year-old son.
Campus police issued a statement identifying Old as the suspect arrested at Mackay Stadium for the alleged attack on Robinson within minutes of the conclusion of UNLV's 16-12 win over Nevada.
Robinson, who was not seriously hurt, said he was hit in the head by a plastic bottle as he and the team left the field during an emotionally charged game. Police later said they did not know if it was a plastic water bottle, plastic beer bottle or beer can.
Old said he got caught up with the hostile crowd and threw an empty aluminum beer can in the air, but he said he did not believe it hit Robinson.
"I'm not admitting guilt but I am sorry for my actions," he said last month.
"It's not the nature of my character. I don't condone this at all. I don't condone any unsportsman-like conduct. I coach baseball. I haven't been in any violent trouble in my life."