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White Sox stymie Yanks; fan jumps from upper deck

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Jose Contreras wriggled out of trouble all night at Yankee Stadium. One fan apparently put himself in much more serious danger and was fortunate to survive.

Contreras pitched shutout ball against his former team, and the Chicago White Sox got home runs from Paul Konerko and Tadahito Iguchi in a 2-1 victory Tuesday night over the New York Yankees.

The game was delayed for four minutes in the eighth inning when an 18-year-old fan, Scott Harper of Armonk, N.Y., plummeted about 40 feet from the upper deck onto the netting behind home plate.

"That was the only exciting thing that happened today," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said.

Harper told three friends he was sitting with that he was going to test whether the net would hold his weight -- and then he jumped, Det. Kevin Czartoryski said.

Obviously shaken after he landed, Harper sat with his head in his hands for a few moments before climbing on the net back up to the loge level as players watched and the crowd roared. He was hoisted over the railing and led away by security.

After the game, Harper was carted from the ballpark on a stretcher, his head immobilized in a neck brace, and taken to Lincoln Hospital for observation.

He was arrested, and Czartoryski said police expect to charge Harper with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

"I've never seen anything like that before," Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I think that's New York, you know, anything can happen."

It was the second time in five years a fan fell or jumped from the upper deck at Yankee Stadium. In May 2000, 24-year-old Stephen Laurenzi of Yonkers, N.Y., was unconscious for a short time while sprawled on the netting as a game between Boston and New York went on. He also was arrested and taken to a hospital for observation.

In 1997 and 1998, there was only a high backstop behind the plate and no netting extending to the stands.

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