Charges won’t be brought against a USC football player filmed shoving a Washington State fan who ran onto the field after the Cougars’ win in Pullman on Sept. 29.
The Washington State University Police Department recommended second-degree felony assault charges against Liam Jimmons, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound defensive lineman, last month.
In a letter sent to to the 20-year-old fan and Jimmons’ attorney Tuesday, Whitman County Prosecutor Denis Tracy said: “In my judgment, any jury would conclude that this was a very unfortunate collision of these two people, but not a crime.”
With 28 seconds left in Washingon State’s 30-27 upset of USC at Martin Stadium, fans, including the 5-foot-10, 150-pound man who was shoved, rushed onto the field as USC players started heading toward their locker room.
In a scene captured by multiple cellphones, Jimmons can be seen shoving a man in hooded sweartshirt who crossed his path, who drops to the turf. The fan immediately gets up and celebrates with other Cougar supporters.
The fan – identified as K.D. in Tracy’s letter – went to the hospital multiple times for concussion-related symptoms following the collision, police said.
“Neither K.D. nor Jimmons stopped or slowed down due to their crossing paths. Jimmons’ peripheral vision may have been somewhat limited by his helmet,” Tracy wrote.
“Jimmons only saw K.D. at the last moment before running into KD. Jimmons intentionally reached forward, as the two of them were crossing and shoved K.D. out of his way. Jimmons did not stop nor speed up. He did not deviate from his path of jogging off the field toward the exit.”
Tracy also noted the Pac-12 Conference’s policy of fans being kept off the field so the visiting team can leave without interference.
“Ironically, at the very time of the shove, (the PA announcer) can be heard saying ‘For your own safety, please do not enter field until USC has exited.’ ”
Jimmons admitted to shoving the fan, Tracy said, but said he did so both men wouldn’t collide and get injured.
Four days after the incident, USC head coach said he was aware of the situation and would handle any discipline internally. Reporters noticed Jimmons doing up-downs – an exercise often doled out as punishment – at the end of USC’s first practice following the Sept. 29 game.