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Fury Mascot ‘Sabre’ Injured In 50-Foot Fall From Cable

April 12, 1996 GMT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) _ The costumed mascot of the Fort Wayne Fury was in serious but stable condition today with back injuries from a 50-foot fall onto a concrete floor before a Continental Basketball Association playoff game.

Tim DeLeon, 31, of Fort Wayne fell Thursday night as he lowered himself on a cable from the rafters of the darkened Allen County Coliseum during player introductions before the Fury’s game against Quad City.

``It appeared that about a third of the way down, something happened to the rope. He fell onto the floor behind the basket,″ Fury media relations director Rob Brown said today.

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Witnesses said it appeared DeLeon’s leg became entangled in the cable and he lost his grip as he tried to kick it loose. His fall was broken by another mascot, Greg Houlton, who was DeLeon’s spotter. Houlton was not hurt.

DeLeon, who was wearing a cat costume and a blue-trimmed black Fury uniform, was in his second season as the team’s mascot ``Sabre.″ He was admitted to Lutheran Hospital in critical condition Thursday night but had improved to serious condition by this morning and was taken out of the intensive care unit.

``He has a broken back,″ said Dr. Thomas McArdle of Fort Wayne Orthopedics, who attends all Fury home games. ``He’s having a CAT scan. Neurologically, he’s OK. He has movement in his extremities. It depends on the CAT scan what we do.″

After a delay of about 20 minutes, the Fury lost the game 104-99, tying the American Conference best-of-five series at two games apiece going into the final game Sunday at Quad City.