New California Law Prompted by Stow Beating

Sports stadiums will be required to post phone and text message numbers so fans witnessing violence can quickly call security


 
 

Steven Harmon, Bay Area News Group | | Wednesday, September 12, 2012


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Spurred by the beating of San Francisco Giants fan Brian Stow, a new law signed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown will require California sports stadiums to post phone and text message numbers so fans witnessing violence can quickly call security.

Stow, a 43-year old former Santa Clara paramedic who was brutally battered after the game, suffered brain damage when his attackers pummeled him to to the ground and repeatedly kicked his head in an assault that lasted several minutes. His attackers left the scene before police arrived, but were caught later and now are awaiting trial.

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"Something had to change, so it's definitely a big step in helping keep stadium's safe," said Bonnie Stow, Brian's sister.

All professional sports franchises -- in the NBA, NFL, Major League baseball and others -- in California would be required to post written notices that display a phone number and text message number of stadium security personnel near most of the seating and in parking lots outside the stadium.

The author of the bill, Los Angeles Democratic Assemblyman Mike Gatto, said he hopes the signs will give security personnel a chance to respond to violent incidents before they spiral out of control.

"In fact, several of the more high-profile beatings lasted over a span of several minutes, during which frantic fans dialed 911," Gatto said in a statement. "In those instances, it is stadium security (from within the stadium) and not the police (coming from outside the stadium) who is best equipped to quickly respond and prevent an injury from becoming more serious.

Hopefully, the signs will serve as a deterrent, Gatto said.

"It has become apparent that we need to act to keep the action at professional games on the field and out of the stands," Gatto said.

Stow left the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where he was rehabilitating six months ago to live at an undisclosed facility. He continues to improve, but slowly, said Bonnie Stow.

"He's doing good," she said. "He has definitely had improvement, but he still has a long way to go. We see how hard it is for him to do everyday stuff like brushing his teeth. But compared to how he was doing before, he's doing really well."

In a blog that provides updates on Stow's condition, she wrote on Sunday, "He helped pack his lunch this past week, even making his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Tuesday and Friday nights are karaoke nights at his apartment complex. He enjoys going to watch, and he sings the same song every time ... Eye of the Tiger."

The Stow family is awaiting word on when the trial date will be set for suspects Marvin Norwood and Louie Sanchez.

Brown signed 59 bills in all Friday, and has now signed 286 while vetoing only two.



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