CLEVELAND – One of the most famous radio personalities in northeast Ohio might now also be one of the most infamous, Action News' Denise Strzelczyk reported.
Danny Czekalinski pleaded no contest to a charge that he grabbed a Cleveland Browns Stadium worker around the neck at the last home game of the 2001 season.
Riva McKenzie said that the popular DJ assaulted her in the middle of a stadium melee. Czekalinski, however, said that he has been falsely accused.
The incident occurred last December when Browns fans threw bottles onto the field, forcing the officials to stop the game. Czekalinski is alleged to have left and then turned violent trying to force his way back into the stadium when the game started back up again.
McKenzie told a judge that Czekalinski is, beyond a shadow a doubt, the man who put his hands around her neck.
"When he put his hands through that gate of that bar while I was doing my job, I looked at his face," McKenzie said. "I looked at his face when he put his hands around my neck and it was him that touched me. I have no reason to lie or doubt I saw his face."
Czekalinski maintained that he didn't touch the stadium worker, but pleaded no contest on Monday to one count of aggravated trespassing.
"I would like to say that I'm very sorry that this woman was grabbed, but I can steadfastly say to you, your honor, that it was not at my hand," Czekalinski told the judge.
Despite his speech, the judge slapped Czekalinski with a 180-day sentence that was suspended. He also got a year of probation, 40 hours of community service and he was ordered to pay court costs including McKenzie's out-of-pocket expenses. The judge also ordered that Czekalinski have no contact with the victim.
"People look to you and expect certain things from you," the judge told the local celebrity. "They expect that you are going to carry yourself a cut above. That's what really concerns me about your decision-making process in this case."