Olympic Bottle-Tosser Pleads Not Guilty
Happened to be sitting next to judo's bronze medalist. Oops.
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 6, 2012 3:08 PM CDT
A bottle lies on the track, seen in background, as from left, Netherlands' Churandy Martina, United States' Ryan Bailey, Jamaica's Usain Bolt, United States' Justin Gatlin, Jamaica's Yohan Blake, United...   (Daniel Ochoa De Olza)
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(Newser) – An Olympic spectator accused of hurling a plastic bottle onto the stadium track seconds before the men's 100-meter final pleaded not guilty today to creating a public nuisance. Ashley Gill-Webb spoke only to deny the charge and confirm his personal details during a brief appearance at Stratford Magistrates Court. He was granted conditional bail with a trial scheduled for Sept. 3. District Judge Angus Hamilton banned Gill-Webb, 34, of Leeds in northern England, from any Olympic venue and the entire Olympic Park for the duration of the games.

In addition to throwing the bottle, he was charged with using threatening words, disorderly behavior and harassment. As he left the court, Gill-Webb shouted abuse at waiting reporters. Yesterday's race, won by Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, was not disrupted. Gill-Webb's actions enraged Dutch judo bronze-medal winner Edith Bosch, who was inside the stadium near him. She told Dutch TV she intervened after the bottle was thrown and pushed Gill-Webb in the back, causing her to miss the race. "I'm not suggesting vigilantism but it was actually poetic justice that they happened to be sitting next to a judo player," said Sebastian Coe.
 

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