Toronto

Man who tossed beer can during Blue Jays game gets conditional discharge, 12 months probation

The man who tossed a beer can onto Rogers centre field during Toronto Blue Jays playoff game last year was given a conditional discharge on Wednesday but sentenced to 12 months of probation for mischief.

'Beer can guy' Kenneth Pagan will also have to perform 100 hours of community service

Kenneth Pagan pleaded guilty to mischief under $5,000 for tossing a beer can onto the field at a Blue Jays game. (CBC)

The man who tossed a beer can onto the Rogers Centre field during the Toronto Blue Jays wild card playoff game last year was given a conditional discharge on Wednesday but sentenced to 12 months of probation for mischief.

Ken Pagan, who pleaded guilty to mischief under $5,000 on May 30, will not have a criminal conviction, but he will be required to perform 100 hours of community service.

He has also been banned from all MLB games for 12 months and has to stay 500 metres away from the Rogers Centre.

Pagan threw the beer can onto the field during a game between the Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles on Oct. 4, 2016.  

The toss occurred in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim was tracking a fly ball. As he made the catch, a beer was thrown out of the left-field stands and onto the field, narrowly missing Kim.

Pagan now known as 'beer can guy' 

Earlier Wednesday during the sentencing hearing, the Crown called for 12 months of probation, while the defence called for an absolute discharge.

The Crown said the crime had a national impact, adding it could have disrupted the play and that the height and velocity of the beer can throw shows it was not accidental. The Crown also argued that the toss could have caused injury.

Kim, the Orioles player that almost got hit, declined to provide a victim impact statement. 
Ken Pagan leaves court with his lawyer Tyler Smith after the sentencing hearing. (Kirthana Sasitharan/CBC)

The defence argued the crime had a huge impact on Pagan and his family. He has been the subject of international media reports, he has endured online harassment and no longer enjoys relative anonymity, the defence said, adding that Pagan is now known as "beer can guy."  

The defence argued that the incident was out of character for him.

Apology offered to Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles

Pagan offered an apology in court before the judge ordered the conditional discharge, saying he is a lifelong baseball fan and threw the can when his emotions got the best of him in an exciting moment.

Pagan wrote: "I'd like to apologize to the Toronto Blue Jays organization, the Baltimore Orioles organization, and especially Baltimore outfielder Hyun Soo Kim."

He said he takes full responsibility for his actions and said the beer can toss was a "deeply regrettable mistake."

He added: "I am working hard to be the best person I can be."

Ontario court Judge Robert Bigelow noted that Pagan suffered humiliation and harassment as a result of his actions that day.

"Mr. Pagan clearly is an individual [who], other than for a few seconds, has led not just a blameless life, but has been a significant contributor to our community," he said. 

Pagan left job after charge

The toss triggered a social media frenzy as many analyzed photographs and video footage from the game to figure out where the can had come from.

Police released an image of Pagan after the game. He surrendered to police at 52 Division two days after the incident.

After he was charged, Pagan left his job at Postmedia, where he worked as a sports copy editor, according to an online profile.

With files from Kirthana Sasitharan and The Canadian Press

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