• 2 of 3 Heinz Field Break-In Suspects Found Guilty

    Updated:
    PITTSBURGH,None - Two of three men arrested Sunday morning after police said they broke into Heinz Field have been found guilty of lesser charges.

    VIDEO: 2 Of 3 Heinz Field Break-In Suspects Found Guilty

    In court on Thursday, Neville Noshir Medhora, 27, of Austin, Texas, and Shazad Mehta, 28, of Elmhurst, Ill., had their charges changed to trespassing and disorderly conduct. Both were found guilty and ordered to pay $600 each in fines.

    A third suspect, Adil Minocherhomjee, 22, of La Jolla, Calif., had his hearing postponed because his lawyer couldn't attend.

    Following his court appearance, Medhora, a self-proclaimed Steelers fan, said he wanted to thank the organization for being understanding.

    "I'd just like to thank the city of Pittsburgh and the Steelers organization for being so kind," Medhora told Channel 11 News.

    Medhora's attorney, David Shrager, said the three men aren't trouble makers, just Steelers fans.

    "They didn't want to hurt anybody, cause any problems," Shrager said. "They're just big Steelers fans. I think it's probably something every Pittsburgher would want to do. Who wouldn't want to go onto the Steelers play area, 50 yard line and be able to do that? It's a fantasy I know I've had for a long time."

    However, Mehta's attorney painted a different picture, one not as black and gold.

    "They were having fun at a wedding. They were from Chicago and Chicago Bears fans," defense attorney William Difenderfer said. "They want to be in the greatest football stadium in the world. I don't blame them. So, they wanted to take a picture of themselves on the field. It was silly. There was a touch of alcohol involved."

    Shrager said on Tuesday that his client had been questioned by the FBI.

    "The FBI asked him many questions concerning his background and what he was going on that day," said Shrager. "Mr. Medhora answered each question honestly and openly. At the end of the conversation, it's my understanding, the FBI has cleared him of any nefarious wrongdoing or terroristic plots."

    Medhora told Channel 11 News earlier this week that the trio had attended a wedding at the stadium the night before and weren't allowed on the field, so they sneaked back the next morning to take some pictures inside the Pittsburgh Steelers' home stadium.

    "The wedding was amazing. Unfortunately, it was raining all day. So, instead of having the wedding on the field, it was in a tent on the concrete. So, we never actually got to go on the field. So, we were up late and started walking around … Me and two other friends, we saw the stadium. We could see the field … We found a place where we could sneak under the gate," Mehora said.

    However, Pittsburgh Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said the official police report does not reflect that the men told police anything about the wedding or taking pictures, only that one of them had lost a wallet.

    It was later clarified that when arrested, Medhora realized he didn't have his wallet on him and thought that it may have fallen out while they were inside the stadium. It was later discovered in his hotel room.

    Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett confirmed that a wedding was held at the stadium's banquet facility on Saturday, but said he has no way to confirm whether the men were in attendance.

    There was no damage to the field or the facility, Lockett said.

    Medhora said the trio crawled under fences at Heinz Field shortly before 7 a.m. on Sunday, but never made it onto the field.

    "We didn't think of it, at the time, as breaking in," said Medhora. "We slipped under that gate. We didn't plan on doing anything. We thought it was totally harmless. We were wrong."

    Security said the three fled when approached. Police arrived at the scene and arrested the men as they exited the stadium.

    Medhora denies any other intentions other than to take pictures.

    "We were looking forward to actually going on the grass and being where the Steelers play," Mehora said.

    Police notified the Department of Homeland Security as a precaution because the incident involves a high-occupancy sports venue.

    In November 2006, two Carnegie Mellon University students were accused of trying to break into the stadium shortly after someone threatened to detonate radioactive "dirty bombs" at seven National Football League stadiums.

    The students were initially jailed on $1 million bond as the case was turned over to a regional terrorism task force, but no such link was ever found. Both later entered a special probation program for first-time offenders that enabled their records to be expunged.

    E-Mail Newsletter: Get The Latest News Sent To Your E-Mail! Mobile: Get WPXI Headlines On Your Phone, iPhone, More RSS: Add Us To Your Page!

    Next Up: