Cubs fan climbed on handrail with cup before falling to death

FOX 32 NEWS - The Chicago Cubs fan who died after a fall at Wrigley Field last week was climbing on a railing with a red cup in his hand when he fell backward and hit his head on the concrete below, a police official said Monday.

Richard Garrity, 42, of Wheaton suffered head injuries Tuesday night and died the next day at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Garrity, a marketing manager for Heineken, was at the Cubs’ win over the Cincinnati Reds. He was on a work outing with his wife. Cubs officials believe they were sitting in Section 239, which is in the main grandstand, close to the right-field foul pole.

Garrity, the father of a boy and a girl, was leaving the game shortly before 11 p.m. after most fans had exited the stadium, officials said. He fell over a handrail on a ramp leading from the upper deck to the terrace level, officials said.

Garrity landed on his head after falling more than 5 feet, officials said. He was taken to the hospital in a private ambulance. Police were contacted about the accident the next day after he died, officials told the Sun-Times.

Police said two associates of Garrity saw him climb on the handrail with the cup before he fell. A stadium employee heard the fall, but didn’t see it. The Cook County medical examiner’s office has ruled the death an accident.

The handrail that Garrity fell over was 36 inches high. Some major league ballparks have 42-inch handrails.

“Given the age of our ball park, we have been grandfathered,” said Julian Green, vice president of communications for the Cubs. The height of the railing “in no way contributed to this incident.”

"I talked to him in the 6th inning, for example, and I was babysitting for them and he didn't sound anything but fine, I don't know after that,” he said.

Garrity fell over a railing and on his head in the area of the right field terrace near Section 239. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office says he died from head injuries.

Fans are calling this a tragedy.

"You got to be careful, it's just terrible for his family, you come to a game and you are having fun and next thing you know, not good,” Anthony Bongi said.

“I've been in those places where you get to the edge and you are like, whoa! And it's only like a little railing, a couple feet tall,” Michael Scott said.

Garrity worked for Heineken for the past ten years and the CEO says they are "profoundly sad" about this.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and two children and we are committed to supporting them through this incredibly difficult time. Rick was a passionate member of our Heineken family and someone we will miss dearly."

A Cubs spokesperson says there is no public safety issues related to the fall.

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