MIAMI – A Miami Heat fan was arrested Tuesday night after he ran out onto the court and snatched the basketball near the end of the game.
Marsel Imer, 19, was arrested on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.
According to a Miami police report, Imer ran onto the court at American Airlines Arena during Miami’s game against the Denver Nuggets.
“This caused the game to stop,” the report said. “Arena security and police had to run onto the court to remove the defendant from the court.”
The incident took place with 0.9 seconds left in the game. The Fox Sports broadcast showed the fan run onto the court and grab the basketball from an official after Denver’s Jamal Murray made a free throw to put his team ahead 101-99. The Nuggets went on to win 103-99.
“I thought arena security did a great job getting him off the court,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Wednesday during team practice. “There’s no place for that in this game and in sports. It’s scary. You don’t know — it ended up being innocent — but you don’t know what that can lead to, and I think league-wide everybody will be a little bit more vigilant.”
Imer, who was wearing a Heat jersey in his arrest photo, was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. Imer appeared in court Wednesday and had the charges against him dropped, but he was ordered to stay away from American Airlines Arena.
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