Greg Gall, who ran onto the field at Paul Brown Stadium during a Bengals home game last month, faces an opponent tougher than he probably expected: Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.
In an unusual move, Deters fired off a letter Monday to Hamilton County Municipal Judge David Stockdale urging him to impose jail time for the rogue fan.
"Unless a strong message is sent, our ability to enjoy our football stadium is compromised," Deters wrote. "It is for these reasons my office seeks at least 30 days of incarceration."
Gall, 31, of Mount Washington, ran onto the field and snatched the football from Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre during a Bengals home game Oct. 30. Security quickly tackled Gall and arrested him on charges of criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct while intoxicated.
"I feel very strongly about this," Deters said. "We need to hold people personally responsible for this type of behavior. If we don't, stupid acts like this will inspire copycat actions and result in increased limitations and restrictions for everybody."
Gall, who is free without bond, faces up to four months in jail and up to 30 hours of community service. However, no jail time is mandatory. After a meeting last week, an assistant prosecutor left believing Stockdale would not impose jail time, Deters said.
Deters also pointed out that Gall has a prior conviction from 1995 on a charge of aggravated assault stemming from a drunken bar fight in which he beat somebody with a pilsner glass.
Scott Rubenstein, Gall's lawyer, said he had hoped to work out a plea deal Wednesday in which Gall would plead guilty to criminal trespass in exchange for the dismissal of the more serious charge, resisting arrest.
Such a plea deal could mean no jail time, Rubenstein said. A disorderly conduct conviction does not carry a jail term.
"I'm hoping for probation," Rubenstein said. "I hope the judge still sees it for what it is - an otherwise responsible, law-abiding citizen who made a bad decision. He's got a lot at stake here."
Rubenstein said he understands that county officials and the Bengals want to prevent others from following in Gall's footsteps.
"I don't think jail time will have the intended affect," Rubenstein said. "People who have followed this case and seen what's happened to him absolutely understand this is not a funny thing to do, or a heroic thing to do.
"It's not worth it for 15 minutes of fame."