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Suspect indicted for vandalizing Cleveland Browns' playing field at FirstEnergy Stadium

Anthony O’Neal faces charges of vandalism and breaking and entering.

CLEVELAND — A Cuyahoga County grand jury has indicted a 21-year-old man for breaking into FirstEnergy Stadium last month and damaging the field with his vehicle. 

Anthony O’Neal faces charges of vandalism and breaking and entering. Police say after driving to the stadium in a red vehicle, he climbed over a fence and entered the facility on the night of Monday, Nov. 21. 

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Once inside the stadium, O'Neal is alleged to have gotten into a second vehicle, a Ford F-150 pickup truck and drove it onto the playing field. He then made several circular motions with the truck, causing damage. Police then say O'Neal eventually left the stadium by climbing back over the fence and driving away in his red vehicle. 

While the Browns said that the stunt caused "some superficial damage," tire tracks were still visible during Cleveland's 23-17 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following Sunday.

Credit: AP
Remnants of tire tracks made by a person who broke into First Energy Stadium earlier this week and drove a vehicle around the field, can be seen during team warm ups before an NFL football game between the Cleveland Browns and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Cleveland, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

"We take pride in the strong reviews and reputation of our stadium's playing surface," the Browns said in a statement following the incident. "We have been in touch with the NFL on the matter and are confident after repair our field will be ready for Sunday's game vs. the Tampa Buccaneers."

O'Neal will be arraigned at the Cuyahoga County Justice Center at a later date. 

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