Suspect detained in beating of Giants fan
LOS ANGELES -- A tip from a parole officer led to the arrest of one of the suspects in the attack on a San Francisco Giants fan outside Dodger Stadium after the teams' season opener, a brutal beating that prompted an outpouring of support for the victim.
The man detained early Sunday is believed to be the "main aggressor" in the March 31 beating that left Bryan Stow with brain damage, Los Angeles Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference at the stadium. Beck hailed the work of 20 full-time detectives who he said have pursued 630 leads in the case. He choked back tears as he described getting a call at 7 a.m. yesterday from Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger.
"He said the words I've been waiting for for seven weeks. He said that we had Bryan's assault suspect in custody," Beck said. "This is a huge step."
The Los Angeles Times identified the suspect as Giovanni Ramirez, 31, and reported he was booked for assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $1 million bail.
Stow, a 42-year-old paramedic and father of two, was beaten in a parking lot by two men in Dodgers gear after the season opener against the Giants.
Last week, doctors reported that Stow is able to open his eyes but remains in critical condition after being transferred to San Francisco General Hospital. Stow had been at Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center since the attack, which forced doctors to put him into a medically induced coma to avoid having seizures.
Stow's sister said police called her family yesterday morning.
"I can't even tell you the emotions that we're going through right now," Bonnie Stow told KABC-TV, occasionally choking back tears. "To be excited is the least we can say."
An outpouring of support for Stow included fundraisers that ranged from bowling tournaments to pasta dinners to donated services such as haircuts and fitness classes.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said he called Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to express his thanks for the efforts of L.A. authorities and to congratulate him.
"That sort of brutality is totally unacceptable," Lee said. "It's not only unacceptable but needs to be dealt with. Our hearts are still open for a full recovery of Mr. Stow."
Giants manager Bruce Bochy called the developments "great news."
"It's been hard on the family," he said. "Hopefully they'll catch everybody who was involved in this senseless act."
Giants officials released a statement commending Los Angeles police and thanking "the community for its tremendous support for the Stow family during this difficult time."
Giants fan Les Wong, 37, celebrated the news as he headed to yesterday's game against Oakland.
"It's good to hear that they caught someone. That kind of thing doesn't belong in sports," Wong said. "I'm glad to hear there is going to be some sort of justice."
Stow, who was wearing Giants gear, was leaving the game with two friends when he was attacked. Moments earlier, Stow texted a family member to say he feared for his safety in the rowdy crowd.
Since the attack, Beck has beefed up security at Dodger Stadium to deal with fights that had been breaking out in recent years.