Ashley Gill-Webb, an Olympic spectator from Leeds who decided to throw a plastic bottle onto the stadium track moments before men’s 100-meter final was about to begin, has pled not guilty to the charge of creating a public nuisance. The man appeared in Stratford Magistrates Court to address the charges, and was released on bail. According to the Associated Press, Gill-Webb’s trial has been set for September 3.
In addition to facing charges for throwing the bottle, the 34-year-old was banned from the rest of the Olympics by District Judge Angus Hamilton. On his way out of the courthouse, Ashley shouted all sorts of rude and obscene comments at the various reporters hanging around outside.
If tossing a plastic container on the track wasn’t peculiar enough, Gill-Webb was reportedly ranting, raving, and acting in a threatening manner before the incident. ABC News reports that Usain Bolt, Justin Gatlin, and Yohan Blake had just taken their marks when said bottle sailed through the air, landing on the track behind the athletes moments before the race began.
American competitor Justin Gatlinsaid said he was aware that something was amiss in the stands. “I didn’t know what it was, but when you’re in those blocks, and the whole stadium’s quiet, you can hear a pin drop,” he explained to the BBC. “You just have to block it out and go out there and do what you got to do. You can’t complain about that, the race went on and it was a great race.”
Unfortunately for this bottle-throwing individual, Dutch judo bronze-medal winner Edith Bosch happened to be sitting nearby, and she wasn’t too pleased with the fact that Gill-Webb effectively caused her to miss the race. After throwing the object, Bosch reportedly gave the guy an unfriendly shove.
“I’m not suggesting vigilantism but it was actually poetic justice that they happened to be sitting next to a judo player,” joked Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London organizing committee.