Analysis: Legally Defending the Bills' Streaker

Local attorneys defend "Senor Wiener"

Mike Baggerman
November 13, 2017 - 1:29 pm

Tristan Lambright (Photo via Erie County Sheriff's)


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The man who allegedly streaked at the Buffalo Bills game on Sunday entered a not guilty plea at Orchard Park Town Court on Monday morning.

Tristan Lambright, 29, of Cheektowaga was seen on national news and sports websites running from one end of New Era Field to the other in front of the thousands of fans in attendance without any clothes.

He was charged with criminal trespassing, public lewdness, and exposure of a person.

We reached out to Losi & Gangi attorney Pat Brown, who defended the Buffalo Bills fan who fell down the railing at New Era Field in 2013. Brown said one of the first things the defense attorneys will do is see if there's a psychological issue with Lambright.

"I think it would strike everyone as very peculiar behavior," he said. "Particularly on a cold day in Buffalo. If it was an extreme's possible that it could constitute a defense. But more likely if a situation like that existed it's something that could be used in mitigation of the ultimate penalty."

Brown said that being drunk is not a psychological issue. 

Acknowledging his battles in court with the attorneys representing the Buffalo Bills, Brown said the team is aggressive in seeking action against fan behavior and suspects streaking is high on the list of deterrents because if they don't fight back against them, it's more likely to happen again.

He also said he wasn't surprised by the not guilty plea today.

"Initially a not guilty plea just triggers the rest of the process proceeding," he said. "It buys some time for both sides to investigate the case."

It also allowed a potential plea resolution to be worked out with the Erie County District Attorney. 

LISTEN: Pat Brown, Attorney at Losi & Gangi

STREAKER - Pat Brown.mp3

More Analysis From Paul Cambria

Prominent Western New York Attorney Paul Cambria, like Brown, wasn't surprised to see a not guilty plea entered by Lambright.

"If I were advising him I'd recommend not guilty," Cambria said. "Then, I'd try to persuade the district attorney to reduce the charges to a non-criminal trespass as a violation or disorderly conduct. Around the NFL, the teams have taken a very hard stance on this because it disrupts the game and disrupts the television broadcast as well as the radio feed. They've always taken a serious opposition to anything where people run on the field."

Cambria said that Lambright will likely be guilty of exposure and trespassing of some kind, but not lewdness because he didn't do anything beyond running naked. If he were to gyrate his genitals, then he would have likely been guilty of that too.

"It seems to me that exposure of a person and trespass are the appropriate charges," he said.

The penalty for trespass in the third degree carries a maximum 90 days in jail and a fine of $500. 

LISTEN: Paul Cambria, Attorney

STREAKER - Cambria RAW.mp3


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