SAN DIEGO — An Orange County man who smashed a beer bottle over a fan’s head following a Chargers-Cowboys game at Qualcomm Stadium was sentenced Friday to probation and credit for jail time already served.
Ramon Heredia, 42, pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of assault with a deadly and faced a maximum of four years in state prison.
Judge Jeffrey Fraser, noting Heredia’s remorse for the crime at Qualcomm Stadium, ordered the defendant to do 400 hours of volunteer work in the next 18 months.
“You’re very lucky (the victim) wasn’t hurt,” the judge told Heredia, giving him credit for four days spent in jail.
Fraser said the unusual case is an example of what can happen at a football game when alcohol is involved.
The judge warned the defendant — a father of four — to refrain from getting drunk at games and not to get into arguments.
Joshua Zumwalt testified during a preliminary hearing in December that he had just arrived back at his tailgate section after the Sept. 29 game when a group next to his started talking “trash” to his Chargers friends.
Zumwalt said he thought he was sucker-punched from the side, and didn’t know he was hit with a glass bottle until later.
Zumwalt — who was wearing a Dez Bryant Cowboys jersey on game day — said his group had been friendly with the defendant’s group of Cowboys fans before the game.
The victim denied having to be restrained to get at the other group before he was attacked.
“I’m not a fighter. I just wanted my point to be heard,” Zumwalt said.
He said he got really upset when a friend was also hit with a beer bottle.
Zumwalt — who stands 6 feet 5 — testified that he had about six or eight beers before the game and three or four at the game.
He said he was “feeling pretty good” and a “little more than buzzed” at the end of the game.
But “I don’t think I was out-of-control drunk,” said Zumwalt, who denied telling police that he pushed a woman prior to the melee, which was captured on video by someone using his cell phone.
The footage shows Heredia and an unidentified man striking two men about the head with beer bottles, according to police.
Zumwalt said he did not see a doctor for his head injury but believed he suffered a concussion. He said he missed a day of work due to the injury.
The second man seen in the video striking a victim on the head was not caught.