TAMPA — A county judge rejected a proposed plea deal Tuesday for a pair of men accused of streaking onto the football field at Raymond James Stadium during the final quarter of Super Bowl LV.
An attorney for Yuri Andrade and Douglas Schaffer said they had reached an agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty to misdemeanor trespassing charges for their Feb. 7 streaking stunt. In exchange, they would serve six months of probation, complete 25 community service hours, pay off court costs and write a letter of apology to the National Football League.
That was unacceptable, said Hillsborough County Judge Jack Gutman.
“I am familiar with these cases, as is most of the world,” the judge said. “I’m not prejudging the case. However, I look at the probable cause on every case. They can have a trial. But the way I view this situation — I saw the video — they exposed multiple individuals to injury that had to chase Mr. Andrade, that had to dive, that had to tackle him. It was a dangerous situation.”
Attorney Luis Cartaya struggled to negotiate with the judge. He asked if Gutman might accept more community service hours or a donation, in lieu of having his client face trial.
The judge wouldn’t budge.
“There are trespassing cases and then there are trespassing cases,” Gutman said. “I’m sure you, like most of the country, watched the video of what transpired at the Super Bowl. You watched a number of private security guards chasing this individual, watched members of law enforcement that had to dive to tackle this individual to arrest him. They could have seriously hurt themselves diving to have to tackle your client.”
Neither defendant attended Tuesday’s court hearing, which was held via Zoom video conference.
Speaking of Andrade specifically, Gutman said, he was inclined to give him a heavier sentence, which would likely include a year of probation, more community service and a fine.
“He’s going to understand the consequences of his actions, if he’s found guilty,” Gutman said. “This is not going to be a walk in the park for him.”
The judge rescheduled the case for May, giving the attorneys time for further discussions. But the offer he heard, the judge said, “is not in the best interest of the fair administration of justice.”
“I will not accept a plea that I think is too lenient,” he said.
The world first glimpsed Yuri Andrade near the 40-yard line at Raymond James Stadium. Clad in yellow sneakers and a hot pink women’s swimsuit emblazoned with the name of an adult website, he dashed across the field in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LV.
Thousands of spectators hollered as Andrade spun away from a security officer’s grasp and tread past the 50-, 40- and 30-yard lines. Nearing the end zone, he raised his arms in victory before Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy Clinton Stearns, a former footballer, plowed into Andrade’s side and took him to the ground.
The streaker seen ‘round the world spent a night in jail.
Andrade gave interviews after his release from jail, including one to the Tampa Bay Times. He described how he and Schaffer planned the gag with another man, Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, who runs a YouTube channel featuring pranks and public stunts. Zdorovetskiy himself had tried to streak at previous Super Bowls, but was too recognizable, he said.
The pair also described placing sports bets ahead of time on whether a streaker would be seen at the game.
Andrade told the Times that he and Schaffer studied stadium schematics, made maps of escape routes and scrutinized similar stunts that had failed, before attending the big game. With a few minutes remaining before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, Schaffer ran onto the field first, distracting security officers, before Andrade began his run.
More than 96 million people saw the prank live on CBS.