The Associated Press is reporting that a man charged with injuring two women when he dived off the stage at a heavy metal concert said he never realized someone in the crowd could be hurt.
Joseph Seink wept Monday (Feb. 7) while testifying in his trial on two counts of felonious assault. Authorities say two 28-year-old Cleveland women each suffered a cracked neck vertebra but no serious spinal damage when the 195-pound Seink landed on them last June 4 at Scene Pavilion downtown.
Seink, 34, of suburban Solon, said he sneaked backstage to see his favorite band, CLUTCH, and celebrated by jumping into the crowd when his favorite song began.
"The last thing I wanted was to hurt anybody," Seink testified during his one-day trial in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
He could be sentenced to two to eight years in prison if convicted of both charges, said Jamie Dalton, a spokeswoman for the county prosecutor's office.
Judge Nancy Fuerst is expected to rule Wednesday.
"He should have known he was going to hurt somebody," said Brian Deckert, an assistant county prosecutor.
Catherine Tressa and Tammie Myers both said they didn't expect someone would jump off the stage over security guards during the concert.
Witnesses told Seink's public defender, Walter Camino, that heavy metal shows are characterized by violent slam dancing. Occasionally, witnesses said, audience members dive off the stage, expecting the crowd to catch them.