This is an UPDATE to GFBB’s Blog “A DODGER FAN” April 2, 2011.
By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times, Posted: 05/22/2011 09:20:03 AM PDT, Updated: 05/22/2011 10:12:35 AM PDT
A man suspected of being one of the two assailants in the brutal beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium was taken into custody early this morning, Los Angeles police sources say.
At about 7 a.m., the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team descended on an East Hollywood apartment building with a warrant in hand. According to apartment building manager Maritza Camacho, police, using loudspeakers and with guns drawn, called out to the occupants of Apartment 25. Inside was one of the men police suspect in the March 31 beating that left Stow with brain damage.
As residents of the three-story building stood watching from balconies, police removed, one by one, the people who were inside the apartment, according to Camacho. Among them was a man with a bald head and tattoos on his neck and arms, she said, a description that appeared to match the vague sketches released by police of one of the two suspects. She added that he did not appear to resist being taken into custody.
Several police sources confirmed that the man taken into custody was one of the two suspects in the beating.
Police officials declined to give details, including the name of the suspect, saying only that the investigation was ongoing.
Bryan Stow, 42, a father of two, was walking through the Dodger Stadium parking lot with two friends after the Dodgers’ opening-day victory over San Francisco when he was brutally assaulted. Stow, who lives in Santa Cruz and worked as a paramedic in Santa Clara, was wearing Giants apparel, police said, and two young men began taunting him. One of the assailants blindsided Stow with blows to the back and head, police said. The two assailants repeatedly kicked and punched Stow while he was on the ground. Stow’s friends attempted to help, and were also punched and kicked before the attackers fled in a car driven by a woman wearing an Andre Ethier jersey. Police said it appeared there also was a 10-year-old boy in the car.
As more time passed without an arrest, the reward fund grew to more than $200,000, and the suspects’ sketches were plastered on about 200 billboards around the L.A. area.
Camacho said that the man taken into custody Sunday morning had not been a longtime resident of the East Hollywood apartment building, but she had begun to see him coming and going in the last few months.
Stow remains in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital, where he was moved last week from County-USC Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Doctors in San Francisco told reporters Stow had opened his eyes but that his long-term recovery was far from certain.
The incident has brought scrutiny and negative media attention to the Dodgers, who are also in the midst of an ownership battle. Owner Frank McCourt is struggling to meet payroll, prompting Major League Baseball to seize all business and day-to-day operations of the team.
Despite a significantly increased police presence, attendance has lagged. At Wednesday’s game against the Giants — the rival team’s first visit back since the opening series — paid attendance was 30,421. Although that was the number of tickets sold, the 56,000-seat stadium was clearly more than half empty. The last time the Dodgers sold fewer tickets for a home game against the Giants was June 4, 1997, when they sold 30,357.