Lexington man hopes others learn from his mistake

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Two years ago, Daebrion Hopwood was a freshman, just learning what the Big Blue Nation was all about.

"Didn't watch all the games until we started getting further and it kind of opened my eyes to how we might go all the way," he said.

By the time Kentucky beat Louisville in the Final Four, he had full-blown Wildcat fever. Hopwood and his roommates went to celebrate with the crowd on State Street.

The crowd of thousands was getting out of hand, he said. They'd already flipped a car before he got there. Then, he made the decision.

"I stumbled upon people trying to light the car on fire and made a bad decision of going to go assist them. Then it just went from there," he said.

That car was destroyed in seconds, but the moment was preserved in pictures and video forever.

"Really wasn't thinking of any consequences as a young man," Hopwood said.

Police found Hopwood after pictures and video of the incident came out online. In the end, he paid attorney fees and the cost of the victim's car. He was back on State Street as thousands poured into the streets again a few days ago.

"I just stood next to the cops. Just watched everything. Watched everybody almost to the mistakes that I did," Hopwood said.

Days away from the Final Four and more possible celebrations, he's hoping others learn from his experience.

"I would say to enjoy the moment and of course have fun, but it's not worth going through what I went through for one night to have it affect you almost get you kicked out of school and having to pay all the fines and everything," Hopwood said.

Police will prohibit parking on the street on those game days this weekend in an effort to avoid car fires.

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