CLEVELAND (WJW) — Police video just released to the FOX 8 I-Team reveals how an intruder tore up the Cleveland Browns’ playing field with a pickup truck.
Cleveland police body camera video also gives us a close-up look at the damage.
It happened in the middle of the night last month inside FirstEnergy Stadium. A suspect now faces felony charges.
The truck left big ruts and tire tracks all over the field.
One clip shows officers watching stadium security video as a pickup drives around and around.
“Oh, my God, he’s tearing it up,” one officer can be heard saying.
A Browns security manager called police to the stadium.
As an officer got a close look at the field, he said, “He … really … put a hurtin’ … ‘Cause now you gotta patch that up.”
The security manager responds, “It goes all the way out. You see the blue flags.”
As officers watch the security footage of the truck turfing the field, they can be heard trying to figure out how someone managed to get into an NFL stadium after hours and do significant damage to an NFL field.
“He hopped a fence,” one officer said.
“How’d he get the truck in there? Was that F-150 already in the stadium?” another asked.
“It was the maintenance guy’s truck. It was his truck,” the first officer replied.
Police determined the truck belonged to a maintenance employee and it had already been in the stadium with the keys left inside the truck.
A police report shows the intruder got into the stadium after 11:30 p.m., and he made it in by climbing a fence.
We wondered how police cracked the case.
One clue came from cameras that recorded the suspect getting out of a red vehicle that had been driving around the stadium.
Cleveland Police Third District detectives built the case with help from The Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion Center. The center helps police share and track leads.
Cuyahoga County prosecutors indicted 21-year-old Anthony O’Neal. He faces felony charges of vandalism and breaking and entering.
On Tuesday, we went to an address listed in court records, and we called a phone number, but we were unable to reach O’Neal for comment.
He goes before a judge next week to begin answering the charges.
The Browns played on that field days after it had been turfed. On game day, it looked much, much better, though you could still see some damage.
From the first look at the damage, police had one reaction — maybe the same as yours. An officer could be heard repeatedly saying “wow.”